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Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao – story of the match

Lionel Messi and Paco Alcacer were on the scoresheet for the league leaders.

Lionel Messi scored for the sixth consecutive game as Barcelona tightened their grip on the LaLiga title race with a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao.

Messi took his tally for the season to 38 in all competitions with a fine finish from the edge of the penalty area.

Paco Alcacer had aleady given Barca the lead and the leaders went on to canter to a routine victory against a Bilbao side grateful they were not more soundly beaten.

Tweet of the match

Messi celebrates scoring for the sixth successive game.

Star man – Lionel Messi

The Argentina superstar ran the show as usual, and probably could and chould have scored more. Bilbao were grateful he went easy on them.

Moment of the match

When Messi was lurking on the edge of the area and Ousmane Dembele picked him out there was only going to be one outcome, a precise drive into the bottom corner.

Moan of the match

When the world’s greatest player is loitering 25 yards out it might be an idea to mark him. Athletic did not bother and paid the price.

Ratings

Barcelona: Ter Stegen 7 (out of 10), Roberto 7, Pique 7, Umtiti 7, Alba 7, Paulinho 7, Rakitic 8, Coutinho 7, Dembele 8, Alcacer 7, Messi 8. Substitutes: Iniesta (for Dembele, 64) 7, Vidal (for Alcacer, 74) 6, Gomes (for Coutinho (85) 6.

Athletic Bilbao: Arrizabalaga 6, Saborit 5, Martinez 6, Nunez 5, De Marcos 5, Benat 5, San Jose 5, Lekue 5, Garcia 5, Susaeta 5, Sabin 5. Substitutes: Iturraspe (for Benat, 46) 5, Williams (for Susaeta, 63) 5,  Aduriz (for Sabin, 70) 5.

Who’s up next?

Sevilla v Barcelona (LaLiga, March 31)

Athletic Bilbao v Celta Vigo (LaLiga, March 31)

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