Barcelona edge past Athletic Bilbao to reclaim top spot

Barcelona's Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic (back R) scores a goal during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club Bilbao at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on June 23, 2020.

Barcelona returned to the top of La Liga after substitute Ivan Rakitic scored for the first time in 15 months to earn a slender 1-0 success over Athletic Bilbao.

Midfielder Rakitic made the decisive contribution with just 19 minutes remaining at the Nou Camp, racing on to Lionel Messi's neat pass to emphatically rifle the ball beyond Bilbao goalkeeper Unai Simon.

The Croatia international's previous goal, which came back in March 2019, had secured Barca a 1-0 win away to Real Madrid.

His latest scoring contribution was enough to move the reigning Spanish champions three points above fierce rivals Real, though having played a game more.

Atletico Madrid climbed into third spot following a narrow 1-0 victory at mid-table Levante.

Diego Simeone's visitors were reliant on an early own goal from Levante defender Bruno Gonzalez to climb above Sevilla in their quest for a place in next season's Champions League.

Thomas Partey also had a second-half goal disallowed for the visitors, who have now taken 10 points from a possible 12 since the league resumed.

Elsewhere, fifth-placed Getafe had to settle for a point at Real Valladolid. Jaime Mata put the high-flying visitors ahead but Enes Unal equalised from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time.
Powered by Blogger.