Barcelona secured another 1–0 win at San Mames Barria thanks to a first-half goal from Rafinha.
Brazil scored the all-important goal in extra time at the end of the first half, but Barca had to sweat it out in the second half, conceding a disallowed goal in the final five minutes of the game.
Within the first two minutes, Ferran Torres came close to giving the visitors the lead. The former Man City man contorted his body to half-volley brilliantly towards goal, but his effort went wide of the left post.
Sergio Busquets would be the next to threaten Athletic Club’s goal, drilling a first-time shot from the edge of the box just above the crossbar after the home side failed to clear their lines sufficiently.
Athletic gave as good as they could in the first half and created two of the best chances of the half.
The first fell to Ianaki Williams who, after cutting in from the right, forced a smart save from Marc-Andre ter Stegen at his near post.
The second came from a resulting corner kick, as Raul Garcia dived past Alex Berenguer’s set piece delivery past Ter Stegen and onto the crossbar.
Bilbao were made to pay for those missed chances in extra time at the end of the first half when Rafinha was found by Sergio Busquets on the right side of the penalty area and, after controlling well, fired the ball into the net. dumped in the lower corner.
A few minutes into the second half, Robert Lewandowski came close to doubling his team’s advantage. The Polish striker rose high in the penalty area to get his head on Alejandro Balde’s superb cross from the left, but he could only curl the ball narrowly wide of the post.
After a very slow start in the second 45, Athletic again showed some signs of life in the last 20 minutes of the game. One of the aforementioned signs of life was when Iñaki Williams played the ball past the Barca defense and into the path of Berenguer who, from a tight angle, hit the post after a deflection off Andreas Christensen’s foot.
Substitute Iker Munien came close for the home team, with the Basque star forcing Ter Stegen to make a superb save with a curling effort from just outside the box.
Athletic Club finally thought they had found a way past Barca’s seemingly defenseless defense through star man Iñaki Williams in the 87th minute. Forward Gorka latched on to a superb ball in the back of the Barcelona defense before finishing with aplomb, but the goal was disallowed for a handball from Munion headed for goal after a lengthy VAR review.
Amazingly, Atlético would miss three chances in the space of five seconds in extra time at the end of the game. First Nico Williams dropped the ball three yards from goal after a great chance by his brother, next Ter Stegen was forced into a great save by Yuri Burchiche and finally Marcos Alonso on his own line The last attempt at goal was stopped.
GK – Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 9/10 – Made three very surprising saves in the game. You can see why he has barely scored any goals this season.
RB – Sergi Roberto – 5/10 – Quite a solid outing.
CB – Jules Counde – 6/10 – Made some very attractive tackles.
CB – Andreas Christensen – 5/10 – Tracked well back to prevent Berenguer from drawing level.
LB – Alejandro Balde – 6/10 – Move well several times.
CM – Gavi – 7/10 – He threw himself into every challenge as if it was his last. Performance from a great, hardworking, young man.
CM – Sergio Busquets – 7/10 – His clever pass into Rafinha led to the opening goal. Read well the whole time.
CM – Frankie de Jong – 5/10 – Dropped a bit too deep to take the ball, especially when he was playing with Busquets.
RW – Rafinha – 7/10 – Finished well at crucial times in the game.
ST – Robert Lewandowski – 4/10 – Not just on your game. The hold up play was meh and he never really looked like he was going to score on Sunday evening which is weird because he really is Robert Lewandowski.
LW – Ferran Torres – 3/10 – Almost scored a spectacular goal inside the opening two minutes but barely appeared after that.
Sub – Frank Casey – 2/10 – Did nothing on arrival. Barely ran the length of himself.
Sub – Marcos Alonso – 5/10 – Made a crucial late block.
Sub – Anu Fati – 4/10 – Silent when introduced.
Deputy – Angel Alarcon – N/A.