WATCH: Brilliant Lionel Messi free kick puts Barcelona in front against Athletic Club

Barcelona have edged themselves into a vital 1-0 lead in their La Liga clash with Athletic Bilbao thanks to Lionel Messi’s superb free kick.

La Blaugrana have dominated in the opening stages against the Basque giants at the Camp Nou with Messi forcing a fine early stop from Unai Simon.

However, despite their early frustrations, a moment of Messi magic has forced the hosts into a deserved lead.

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi

The Argentinian picked himself up after being fouled on the edge of the box to curl an unstoppable effort past Spanish international Simon on 21 minutes.

Barcelona came within in inches of doubling their lead on the half hour mark as centre back Ronald Araujo flashed an effort just wide of the post.

If Ronald Koeman’s side can hold on and clinch all three points against Marcelino’s in form visitors, they will leapfrog arch rivals Real Madrid into second place in the table behind leaders Atletico Madrid.

Image via Getty Images

Tags Lionel Messi