Sports / Soccer

Messi inspires Barca with five-star performance

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-02-09 10:36

Messi inspires Barca with five-star performance

Barcelona's Luis Suarez celebrates scoring a goal during their Spanish first division soccer match against Athletic Bilbao at San Mames stadium in Bilbao, February 8, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

"I am very self-critical and I get angry with myself but I knew that the goal was going to come," said Suarez.

"The save that Gorka made against me was amazing. I wasn't nervous but I do get worried when I feel I am not helping the team."


Mikel Rico pulled a goal back for the hosts in the 59th minute but their celebrations had barely died down when Oscar De Marcos put the ball into his own net after Messi knocked a cross goalwards.

Messi was at the heart of most of Barca's play and set up Neymar for a clinical finish after 65 minutes.

Athletic kept attacking with Aritz Aduriz scoring but then they had Xabier Etxeita dismissed for a high tackle on Suarez.

Substitute Pedro Rodriguez scored Barca's fifth from close range with Messi again playing a part in the build up.

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique rotated his squad by bringing Ivan Rakitic and Xavi into midfield while Jeremy Mathieu played instead of Javier Mascherano at centre half.

With Athletic going out to attack it meant an open game where the quality of Barca's forward moves shone through.

They played with the rhythm and intensity to their passing game that had been missing since their golden spell under former coach Pep Guardiola.

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