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Apr 1, 2012

FC Barcelona maintained their pressure on La Liga leaders with a brilliant 2-0 victory at home against Atletic Bilbao. Iniesta opened the scoring in the first half and Messi secured the three points when he calmy finished off a penalty in the second half.With Real Madrid winning at Osasuna, we were nine points away from League Leaders. So anything less than a win was not good for Guardiola's boys. Guardiola once again started Xavi keeping the Milan clash in mind. The midfield had BUsquets, Thiago and Iniesta. The front three were made up of Tello, Sanchez and Messi. The back four had Alves, Mascherano, Pique and Puyol. Atletic started Muniain and Llorente off the bench.

In the 5th minute Alves thundered a long range effort which was punched away Bilbao keeper, the rebound fell to Tello who played the ball to Pique - whose expensive volley attempt just went wide. In the 7th minute Thiago slotted the ball into the goal but was rightly ruled offside. In the 23rd minute Thiago played in agreat ball into Iniesta in the box, but Iniesta's first touch was rather poor allowing the keeper to collect. In the 25th minute Lionel Messi took a free kick early but the keeper was able to punch it away. From the resulting corner Pique's brilliant goal was adjudged to have not crossed the line. In the 28th minute Iniesta's shot was tipped over by the keeper. It was relentless pressure from Barcelona on Atletic goal. In the 40th minute Iniesta opened the scoresheet. Alexis stole the ball from Atleticl midfielder, squared to messi, who send Iniesta through with a brilliant pass. In the 42nd minute Lionel Messi danced into the box before forcing a save from the keeper. The fact that we went into the break with only a goal ahead was a testimony to how well Bilbao was defending and also the brilliant night Iraizoz was having.

Atletic Bilbao brought in Muniain and Herera at the start of the second half. In the 48th minute Bilbao had a great chance but Thiago did well to deny them from a set piece. In the 55th minute Tello saw his curler well blocked by the keeper. In the 57th minute Tello won a penalty after Javi Martinez brought down Tello in the box, Messi made no mistake with the penalty to make the scoreline 2-0. In the 62nd minute Guardiola took off Tello and brought in Pedro. In the 66th minute Thiago played in Iniesta who instead of taking the shot tried to find Thiago back and the Bilbao defense was able to clear the danger. In the 68th minute Iniesta shot from outside the box took a deflection off Messi but Iraizos wass able to punch it over. In the 74th minute Iraizos made yet another save off a Messi shot from outside the box. In the 76th minute Xavi came in for Iniesta. In the 80th minute Pique made a goal line clearence to deny Muniain from scoring. In the 83rd minute Keita replaced Alexis.

The 2-0 scoreline never said the real story of this match. It was a game completely dominated by us from the start to finish. Had it not been for some fine goal keeping and sturdy defending the scoreline would have been an embarassment for Bilbao. The best player on the pitch definitely was Mascherano who was so brilliant in both defense and even with his distribution and occasional run into the attack. The best positive of the match was the performance of Pique, he was back to his very best and looked so assured. The rest of teh team did really well. tello who got a rare start never did any harm to his prospect of starting against Milna on Tuesday.

All About FC Barcelona is a Blog dedicated to the Most prestigous Club in the world, FC Barcelona by an ardent fan. Here I discuss about the Latest happening surrounding our Club and present my Views about the same.

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