Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Adriano
(Montoya 14'), Piqué, Mascherano, Jordi Alba; Xavi, Busquets (Alex Song
74'), Fàbregas; Pedro, Messi, Iniesta (Thiago 73'). 4-3-3.
Athletic: Iraizoz; Ramalho (San José 72'), Ekiza, Amorebieta, Aurtenetxe; De Marcos, Iturraspe, Ander Herrera; Susaeta (Toquero 63'), Aduríz (Llorente 46'), Ibai Gómez. 4-3-3.
1-0. 23. Piqué. Following up after Iraizoz blocked Fàbregas shot following corner.
2-0. 25. Messi. Ran on to Xavi pass and chipped shot which Amorebieta turned in.
3-0. 45. Adriano. Picked up Fàbregas pass and fired angled shot in to roof of net.
4-0. 56. Fàbregas. Collected Iniesta pass and struck angled shot inside near post.
4-1. 65. Ibai Gómez. Pulled down Iturraspe pass and ran on to shoot past Valdés
5-1. 70. Messi. Controlled Pedro's centre from left and curled shot wide of Iraizoz.
Yellow cards: Busquets 25', De Marcos 32', Iturraspe 54', Ander Herrera 91'.
Another impressive performance by Barcelona on Saturday, a 5-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao extending their amazing record to 40 points out of a possible 42. Iniesta brought a good save out of Gorka Iraizoz before Piqué opened the scoring midway through the first half, the defender playing the ball in to an empty net after Iraizoz could only push out a shot from Fàbregas. Just three minutes later Messi made it two after running on to a precision pass from Xavi, his chip past the keeper helped in to the net by Amorebieta. And for the rest of the first half Barça continued to attack, Iraizoz saving from Fàbregas and Messi hitting the crossbar before Adriano picked up a Fàbregas through ball to make it three on the stroke of half time. After the break the goals kept on coming, Fàbregas getting his name on the scoresheet after Iniesta set him up, but Athletic did finally make some inroads, with half time substitute Llorente heading over and Ander shooting wide before Ibai Gómez controlled a long ball from Iturraspe to beat Valdés. However Messi scored his second of the night soon afterwards to take him within a goal of Gerd Müller's record of 85 goals for a calendar year, and he came close to another hat-trick when he headed over following a quick passing move late on.