Barcelona is ending the weekend six points clear at the top of La Liga thanks to a 0-0 draw with Athletic Bilbao at the San Mamés on Sunday. This game was as tough as advertised, but the Blaugrana didn’t help themselves with an inferior performance, and they only got a valuable point on the road thanks to an incredible game by goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen, who was Man of the Match by a couple of miles.
From the very first minute, Athletic was the better team and made it clear to Barça they were taking the game to them. Iñaki Williams and Raúl García were big problems for the Blaugrana defense, and ter Stegen helped, including a genuinely incredible left-handed stop on a beautiful curling shot by Markel Susaeta. At halftime, Athletic dominated, Barça played terribly, and somehow the score was 0-0. Which was good for Barça, but they needed to play better to score and win.
Barça looked a little better to start the second half, having more of the ball and controlling Athletic’s counter-attacks. They also passed the ball better, which helped, and more players began to get involved instead of it being just Messi trying to do it all. They still needed a creative spark to find a goal, and Ousmane Dembélé came off the bench to try and help the team in his return. However, as we reached the final five minutes, we seemed destined for a draw, and not even De Marcos being sent off for a second yellow card helped Barça find a winner.