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Dec 2, 2012

  • FC Barcelona has won 13 of 14 matches of this Season.
  • Lionel Messi is just one goal shy of Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals.

Tito Vilanova's FC Barcelona side rode into the La Liga history books with a crushing 5-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao. With that victory Barca has recorded the best ever start seen in La Liga. Right now FC Barcelona has 40 points from 14 matches. Against a unsettled Athletic side, our tasks weren't difficult. Goals from Pique, Fabregas, Adriano and two from Messi made life very easy. Once again it was Iniesta who controlled the entire proceeding and was constantly running riot at Athletci Bilbao defense. The starting line-up had Adriano playing the right full back and Alba on the other side. Pique and Mascherano made the central defense. The offensive side was similar to the one selected last week. Busquets, Xavi and Cesc made the midfield. Iniesta, Messi and Pedro made the front three. Villa, Pinto, Montoya, Puyol, Song, Thiago, Tello all started from the bench.

Athletic Bilbao had a poor start to the season this time, a stark contrast from last season. Our boys exactly knew that and was quickt to race from the start and build up pressure really high on pitch. To their credit, Bilbao withstood that pressure and slowly settled into the match. In the 13th minute Iniesta had our first shot on target after dancing into the box from the left. In the 22nd minute Messi had a great chance after putting through, but first touch gave the defense time to clear the danger. But the goal didn't have to wait as it came from the resulting corner. Messi sent in the cross into center, Fabregas did well to get a shot but was saved by the keeper; luckily it fell to an unmarked Pique who just had to touch it into the goal. In the 25th minute Messi made it 2-0 after a great ball from xavi sent him through the middle, Messi rounded the keeper and chipped the ball into the path of goal; Bilbao defender Amorebieta tried to clear it but only could help it into his own goal. It has to be seen whether the goal will be awarded to Messi or will be judged as an own goal. In the 36th minute Iniesta won a free kick five yards outside the box, Messi's free kick went just high over the bar. In the 39th minute Messi teed up the ball for Fabregas inside the box, but Cesc shot straight at keeper. That should have been 3-0. In the 43rd minute Fabregas launched a high ball spotting Alba's run into the goal, Alba touched it to Iniesta who could only shoot wide. In the 45th minute Messi hit the underside of bar but the ball stayed out. In the very next minute Adriano made it 3-0 after a late run of his was spotted perfectly by Cesc Fabregas. The game may have been sealed by that goal as we looked completely comfortable with Athletic Bilbao's attack and defense.


Marcos Biesla brought in Llorente at the start of second half for Athletic Bilbao. In the 54th minute Messi forced a good save from keeper from just inside the box. In the 57th minute Iniesta released the ball to Cesc Fabregas on the right, who made no mistake with the finish to make it 4-0. In the 61st minute Llorente shot high from inside our box. That was Bilbao's first meaningful attack of the night. In the 65th minute Bilbao pulled one back through Ibai Gomez after Adriano played him offside. It was ridiculous from Adriano as both the central defenders stepped up and Adriano stepped back. In the 70th minute Messi scored his second of the night to make it 5-1. The move was kind of crazy, Fabregas tried to feed Messi, but the ball was deflected away by the defense; the ball is kept in by Pedro who teed it to Messi, who again cut inside and finished without much fuss. In the 73rd minute Montoya was brought in for Adriano and Thiago for Iniesta. In the 75th minute Busquets earned a well deserved rest after he was substituted for Song.

The only blemish in tonight's performance was the goal conceded, which came due to an error from Adriano - who once again forgot to step up with the rest of defense. But otherwise this was the perfect performance. We controlled the proceedings from the begining. The pressing was unbelievable almost choking the Bilbao defense at times. Iniesta and Busquets was for me the Mesn of the Match. They were simply magnificient.

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