Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Aleix Vidal, Piqué (Mascherano 45’), Umtiti, Mathieu; Rafinha (Rakitic 54’), André Gomes, Arda Turan; Messi (Sergi Roberto 64’), Paco Alcácer, Neymar. 4-3-3.
Athletic: Iraizoz; De Marcos, Yeray, Laporte, Balenziaga; San José (Beñat 59’), Iturraspe; Lekue (Aduríz 52’), Raúl García (Eraso 74’), Muniain; Williams. 4-2-3-1.
1-0. 18. Alcácer. Volleyed shot inside near post after Neymar laid ball across.
2-0. 40. Messi. Curled wide free kick round wall and through hands of Iraizoz.
3-0. 68. Aleix Vidal. Picked up ball outside area and ran on to shoot past keeper.
Yellow cards: Piqué 22’, Iturraspe 27’, De Marcos 34’, Laporte 70’.
Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao 3-0 on Saturday afternoon to move to within a point of leaders Real Madrid, albeit having played two games more after Madrid’s match at Celta was postponed due to bad weather. With a heavy schedule coming up Luis Enrique left Luis Suárez on the bench, and Valverde also rested Aduríz, with Yeray making his first appearance since undergoing an operation for testicular cancer only a few weeks ago. The early chances fell to the visitors, Ter Stegen tipping a Raúl García shot on to the post and Williams heading a Laporte cross wide, but with just over a quarter of an hour gone Paco Alcácer got on the end of Neymar’s assist to score his first league goal for his new club. Ter Stegen had to save from Raúl García and Williams once again, but with five minutes to go to the break Messi made it two with a wide free kick which went through the hands of Iraizoz. Messi himself was also rested early on in the second half, and a few minutes later Aleix Vidal fired home his team’s third to put the game beyond the reach of the Basque team.