Athletic Bilbao put in a strong performance against Barcelona, but they couldn't repeat their Europa League heroics at the Camp Nou. Barcelona were on the front foot throughout, and it came as little surprise when their pressure finally told through Andres Iniesta just before the first half. The midfielder raced onto an intelligent pass forward from Lionel Messi and absolutely blasted a shot past Gorka Iraizoz at the near post to make it 1-0.
Athletic were trying hard to find a way back into the match, but they shipped a second just after the break when Javi Martinez (apparently) fouled Cristian Tello in the box. Martinez protested the decision vociferously and received a booking for his troubles, and Lionel Messi swept home the spot kick to make it 2-0. From there, the visitors had no hope whatsoever (the closest they came to scoring was when Gerard Pique cleared off the line from Iker Munaian), and Barcelona managed to close out the win without too much difficulty. With Real Madrid cruising past Osasuna earlier in the day, Barca needed an emphatic win to keep pace with the league leaders. They got it here.