Aduriz inspires Athletic to Supercopa

Aritz Aduriz scored his fourth goal of the Supercopa de Espana as Athletic Bilbao beat Barcelona and ensured their first trophy since 1984.

Aduriz on Friday claimed a hat-trick as Athletic romped to a 4-0 win at San Mames and found the target again, this time at Camp Nou, as Los Leones deservedly claimed the trophy.

Lionel Messi scored moments before half time from an Ivan Rakitic cross and Luis Suarez lay-off, Barca finally finding a way past a determined Athletic defence.

But it proved only a token as Athletic more than held on, particularly when Barca went down to 10 men mid-way through the second half.

Gerard Pique was dismissed for going too far as he complained to the officials about the lack of an offside call, making a difficult task effectively impossible.

Aduriz scored after what was left of the Barca defence fell apart, the veteran totally unmarked on the edge of the penalty area and with enough time to see his first shot saved by Claudio Bravo, keeping his cool from the rebound.

Kike Sola, on as a late substitute for Aduriz, was sent off for a late challenge on Javier Mascherano but the game was done and dusted by then.

Luis Enrique made six changes to the side so soundly beaten on Friday, keeping only Dani Alves, Javier Mascherano and the front three, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Pedro Rodriguez.

There were two changes for Athletic, Mikel San Jose missing out with a muscle problem and Sabin Merino dropping to the bench, Carlos Gurpegi and Eneko Boveda coming in.

Barca wasted little time in trying to pull back the four-goal deficit, Pedro having a shot deflected over and Pique hitting the bar from the resulting corner.

Athletic looked to counter Barca’s enthusiasm with a high defensive line and caught the hosts offside frequently in the early going. There was committed defending too from the Basques, every player working hard to close down gaps and track runners.

A Pedro air shot when well-placed, a Messi free-kick arced over the crossbar and an Andres Iniesta slice were about the sum of the chances created by Barca. Indeed, the best chance of the first half went to Athletic, Javier Eraso choosing to take the shot on himself when he had Aduriz in support.

Barca continued in their efforts to pull a goal back and were eventually rewarded moments before the interval, sending Camp Nou into a frenzy, Gorka Iraizoz refusing to release the ball after conceding as tempers flared.

The momentum wasn’t really maintained after the interval as Athletic kept up their disciplined defending – and more than once threatened to rob Barca in a dangerous area, but were unable to make much of the turnover.

Barca frustration mounted and eventually boiled over when Pique was given a straight red for something he said but moments later, Rakitic found the side netting from Jeremy Mathieu’s cross when the goal was gaping.

The pattern of the game barely changed without Pique – Barca pressing, Athletic standing firm and occasionally breaking up-field.

There was a confrontation between Aduriz and Bravo when the striker closed down a clearance and accused the goalkeeper of trying to get him a second yellow card with the way he jumped out the way.

Suarez shot high and wide after being played in by Messi and not long after it was unquestionably game over after Jeremy Mathieu was beaten in the air and Bravo was soon after beaten by Aduriz.

That was all she wrote for Barca’s hopes of recovering the Supercopa and landing the sextuple, Athletic rampant in San Mames and resolute at Camp Nou.

Barcelona 1-1 Athletic [1-5 on aggregate]

Messi 43 (B), Aduriz 74 (AB)

Barcelona: Bravo; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Mathieu; Rakitic (Sandro 68), Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Pedro (Munir 68)

Athletic: Iraizoz; De Marcos, Etxeita (Elustondo 67), Laporte, Balenziaga; Gurpegi, Benat (Rico 84), Eraso; Boveda, Aduriz (Kike Sola 80), Susaeta

Referee: Velasco Carballo

Tags Aritz Aduriz Supercopa de Espana