Athletic Club and Barcelona lock horns in this evening’s mouthwatering La Liga clash at San Mames.
The game marks Marcelino‘s first in charge of the Basque side given he’s just taken over from Gaizka Garitano, who lost his job following Athletic’s 1-0 victory over Elche on Saturday.
Victory could see the hosts climb above high-flying Celta Vigo into eighth place and inject a dose of real positivity into an inconsistent campaign.
Should Ronald Koeman‘s Barcelona emerge with a win they could go third, above Real Sociedad, and bring a measure of positivity into what’s been a discontent camp.
It was a game that mattered a great deal to both sides, and an action-packed opening period underlined that.
It was Athletic that struck first blood, Inaki Williams showing both physical pace and speed-of-thought to latch on to a through ball, hold it up and coolly finish past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Barcelona hit back inside the opening quarter of an hour. Lionel Messi hiked a high ball crossfield to find Frenkie de Jong at the back post, who brought the ball back across goal for Pedri to score. Unai Simon could have perhaps done better.