The Barca side of Ronald Koeman saw out the game to record a fifth straight Liga win and move to second place on 40 points over Real Madrid on goal difference.

On Sunday, Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann shot Barcelona to a 2-1 victory at home to Athletic Bilbao in La Liga, avenging their recent loss in the Spanish Super Cup final to the Basque side. On the day the club vowed to sue the Spanish newspaper El Mundo for publishing the full specifics of the Argentine deal, Messi curled in a free-kick after 20 minutes for his 650th Barca goal.

Before Athletic leveled in the 49th through a Jordi Alba own goal, the hosts missed some more chances, but Griezmann, who scored twice in the 3-2 Super Cup final loss, regained the hosts’ lead in the 74th.

The Barca side of Ronald Koeman saw out the game to record a fifth straight win in the League and climb over Real Madrid on goal difference to second place on 40 points, 10 behind Atletico Madrid leaders who have a game in hand.

The day had started with the El Mundo newspaper announcing the total sum Barca had spent on Messi’s last club contract, even declaring that by triggering their current financial crisis, the expense of the deal had ‘ruined’ Barca.

I do not understand how anybody can relate Messi to the ruin of Barca. He spent years demonstrating his success and doing great things for this club, helping it win several important trophies,” Koeman told a news conference.”

Anyone who posted this had bad intentions and tried to harm Barca. But we’ve got to be unified and concentrated, we’ve got to forget about anything written. Without Leo, we couldn’t even hope to win.


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