Barcelona thrash Athletic Club as Lionel Messi breaks yet another club record

Feb 05, 2017, 01:43
Barcelona thrash Athletic Club as Lionel Messi breaks yet another club record

La Liga champions Barcelona stayed on the heels of leaders Real Madrid by coasting to a 3-0 home win over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday as Lionel Messi became the club's top scorer from free kicks.

Athletic continued to cause problems but the Catalans doubled their advantage before the break when Messi smashed the ball from the right-hand side of the area straight past Athletic goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz. However, the presence of Sergio Busquets and Lucas Digne against the Basque side remains uncertain after both players missed the Copa del Rey 2-1 victory at Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night. "You always want the story but I don't want you to write this".

It seems like every day Lionel Messi is setting a record of some kind.

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With the win in hand, Messi also was substituted moments before Vidal got his goal.

"First and foremost, it is important to realise that to reach our three objectives we need the whole squad", said Enrique.

Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta is back in training and in contention to feature against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

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Bilbao almost broke the deadlock after three minutes but Raul Garcia saw his close range effort crash against the upright.

Early in the second half, Barca midfielder Rafinha was forced off with a bleeding head after colliding with his goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, while Pique was taken off with a suspected hamstring strain.

Bilbao, who were unbeaten in their prevous five league games, saw defender Yeray Alvarez return to the team having recently been diagnosed with testicular cancer. Ivan Rakitic replaced him immediately. The 21-year-old played the entire match. He later chipped in a second goal shortly after halftime.

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Real Madrid are in third in those goal standings with 98, with fourth-placed Arsenal a full 14 further back.

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