By Le Figaro with AFP
Difficult but precious victory for FC Barcelona against the Basques for the 25th day of La Liga (0-1).
FC Barcelona is heading towards the coronation! Barça barely dominated Athletic in Bilbao 1-0 on Sunday in the 25th day of La Liga, and regained a nine-point lead at the top of the table on Real Madrid (2nd, 56 points), winner of Espanyol Barcelona 3-1 on Saturday.
The Catalans unblocked the situation just before the break, on a bright p from captain Sergio Busquets for Raphinha, who fired a cross shot from the right (45th + 1), first refused then finally validated by the video referee, before to withstand a breathless end to the match.
For the great return of Robert Lewandowski in the eleven balugrana (after missing 2 matches due to pain in his left thigh), Xavi’s men regained their confidence on the lawn, failing to be spared by the arbitration scandal and the indictment for corruption which hit the club on Friday.
Balm to morale, therefore, one week before the clasico return to La Liga, Sunday March 19 (9:00 p.m.) at Camp Nou.
Ter Stegen, impable
In the absence ofOusmane Dembélé, still uncertain for the clasicoit is his Raphinha double who continues to blaze: the Brazilian has eight goals and nine ists this season, in all competitions.
But the Catalans were not calm throughout the game, cornered at San Mames by the men of Ernesto Valverde, former Barça coach (2017-2020).
Half an hour into the game (34th), Raul Garcia even gave the Catalans a cold sweat, with his header which shook the crossbar of Marc-André ter Stegen. In the 72nd minute, Alex Berenguer also had his chance with a breakthrough, but his ball hit the left post. In the 79th, it was a flight from Ter Stegen which prevented Iker Muniain from equalizing on a brushed strike.
And at the very end of the match (87th), Iñaki Williams thought to equalize for the Basques, at the conclusion of a counter flash, but his goal was canceled after video consultation for a hand from Muniain at the start of the action.
Long among the qualifying places for European competitions, Athletic Bilbao now stalls in 9th place, and has not won for a month in La Liga (2-1 in Valencia on February 11).