It was a very tough week for Barcelona. Before the match against Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona players had a drama inside the locker room.
The week started badly for Barcelona. The sporting director of the team talked badly about players. Eric Abidal gave an interview and said that players were not working hard under Ernesto Valverde. Abidal noted that some of the players were against Ernesto, and they did everything to sack him. Lionel Messi, who is not famous for responding to statements of management, posted on Instagram. The player asked Eric Abidal to be quiet and tell the names who were against Ernesto Valverde.
1st half of the match
Quique Setien decided to give a rest to Antoine Griezmann. Spanish coach played with three players in the attacking line. Along with Lionel Messi and Ansu Fati, Roberto was playing on the right-wing.
Along with De Jong and Busquets, Ivan Rakitic got the right to play from the start. Croatian players gave a fascinating interview three days ago. He said that under Ernesto Valverde, he had lost pleasure from playing football.
Nothing happened in the first half. Lionel Messi had one shot on target in the first half but was not the problematic moment for Athletic Bilbao. Everything changed in the second half.
2nd half of the match
Setien started the second half with quick changes. After a few minutes of the second half, Quique decided to use Antoine Griezmann in the attacking line. At the same time, Rakitic was substituted for Arthur. Arthur’s and Griezmann’s presence on the pitch was perfect for Barcelona. Both players created many chances, but the team could not convert those shots into the goals.
Arthur gave a brilliant assist to Lionel Messi in the 87th minute, but Argentina’s captain could not score. It was a game-changing moment, and Athletic Bilbao players believed in themselves. In the 93rd minute, Ibai crossed the ball, and Inaki Williams scored a beautiful header. German goalkeeper could not normally react to Inaki’s header.