Result: FC Barcelona 2-0 Athletic Bilbao
Date: 18 March 2018
Venue: Camp Nou
FC Barcelona registered their 23rd win of the LaLiga season after beating Athletic Bilbao 2-0 at Camp Nou thanks to goals from Paco Alcacer and in-form Lionel Messi.
Barcelona got off to a flying start and opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Jordi Alba played Alcacer Paco into space inside the box and he made no mistake from only a couple of yards out, 1-0.
In the 14th minute, Philippe Coutinho should have scored his side’s second goal when he rattled the crossbar from close range after some sloppy defending by Bilbao.
On the half-hour mark, Barcelona did double their lead when Messi found the bottom corner of the net with a spectacular shot from the edge of the box, 2-0.
Philippe Coutinho struck the crossbar for the second time in the match five minutes later when he once again found himself space 16-yards out, but failed to find the back of the net with a stinging shot.
A minute before the break the home side hit the woodwork once more when Paulinho was played through on goal, but with just the keeper to beat, he shot against the post.
The second half was not as exciting as the first, with chances in the opening stages of the stanza at a minimum.
The first decent chance went the way of Bilbao in the 69th minute when Sabin unleashed a powerful shot from the edge of the box, but the Barcelona keeper produced a good save to deny him.
Ten minutes later, Aritz Aduriz met a decent cross into the box, but the Bilbao man saw his header cleared off the goalline by a Barcelona defender.
Messi could have added to the scoreline in the 88th minute when he beat three defenders on his way into the box, but he fired just wide from 16-yards out.