It was ultimately a disappointing night for Barcelona in Bilbao as they were bested by Athletic Club for much of the game. The Catalans improved in the second half and managed to salvage a point but after the positivity of the opening game, this is a harsh reality check.
After a convincing win over Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou last weekend, Ronald Koeman named an unchanged starting XI for the trip to face La Real’s Basque rivals Athletic Club at San Mames.
Let’s take a look at how each Blaugrana player fared in Bilbao.
Motionless as Sancet’s shot hit the underside of the bar. Looked uneasy with the ball at his feet, especially when closed down. Nothing he could do about Inigo Martinez’s header.
Better going forward than in defence but a poor overall showing. Positioning not great and it wasn’t before time when Emerson Royal replaced him.
Athletic targeted him early on and Sancet left him for dead on the half turn. Had to go off injured after about half an hour.
Started well and reads the game and positions himself well, but he struggled to cope with Inaki Williams and lost Martinez for the opening goal. Clear red card late on when he lost Nico Williams, but his sacrifice may have saved the point.
Too far upfield and caught out when Athletic attack, while offering nothing offensively himself. Berenguer had too much freedom on his flank.
Did his job and did it well. Depay starting to realise in Busquets he has a quality ally. His dispossession of Dani Garcia made the equaliser.
Started quietly and struggling to impose himself on the game against Athletic’s more physical midfield. Replaced by Sergi Roberto after an hour and now begins his two-week holiday – the rest should do him good.
Made a brilliant and crucial block on Inaki Williams in the box in the first half. Too quiet in the first half but showed glimpses of his quality in the second and hit the bar with a good effort in the 73rd minute. Improved as the half went on and played a good ball to Memphis for what could have been 2-1.
Looking like a star signing for the Blaugrana and his equaliser was a stunning strike. Caused problems and looked lively, definitely Barcelona’s best performer and most likely to make something happen. Gave Inigo Martinez a tough time.
Too quiet. He needs to step up when Barcelona need him.
Should have scored early on after great work by Memphis. A Barcelona striker needs to score those. Replaced by Yusuf Demir after an hour in which he did nothing to prove Koeman is wrong to want to sell him.
Replaced the injured Pique and had the ball in the net with an overhead kick but a foul had been called. Made a terrific goaline clearance to deny Alex Bernguer early in the second half.
Replaced Braithwaite and took a long time to get up to speed but then started to show what he can do.
Replaced Pedri and was quiet until he fed the ball to Memphis for his goal.
Replaced Dest with about ten minutes to go but didn’t have much time to make an impact but perhaps Koeman should give him more chances.