Barcelona secured another 1-0 win at San Mamés Praia thanks to a first half goal from Rafinha.
The Brazilian scored all the important goals in extra time at the end of the first half, but Barcelona sweated in the second half, conceding a goal that was not allowed in the last five minutes of the match.
Inside the opening two minutes, Ferran Torres was close to giving the visitors the lead. The former Man City player turned his body to deftly drive the half-volley towards the goal, but his attempt was bounced off the left post.
Sergio Busquets would be next to threaten the Athletic Club goal, blasting his first-time shot from the edge of the penalty area over the bar after the hosts failed to adequately clear their lines.
Athletic gave their best in the first half and created two of the best chances of the half.
The first fell to Inaki Williams who, after cutting in from the right, forced Marc-Andre ter Stegen to make a clever save at the near post.
The second came from the resulting corner, where Raúl Garcia jumped to head Alex Berenger’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 of the box and, after good control, volleyed the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
A few minutes into the second half, Robert Lewandowski came close to doubling his team’s advantage. The Poland striker rose high in the penalty area to head in a superb cross from striker Alejandro Balde from the left, but only managed to deflect the ball wide of the post.
After a very slow start in the second 45th minute, Athletic finally showed some signs of life again in the final 20 minutes of the game. One of the mentioned signs of life was when Inaki Williams played the ball behind the Barcelona defense and into the path of Berenger, who hit the post from a narrow angle after deflecting off the foot of Andreas Christensen.
Substitute Iker Munyan was next to close in for the hosts, forcing Basque star Ter Stegen to make a brilliant save with a shot from outside the penalty area.
Athletic finally thought they had found a way past a seemingly tight Barcelona defense in the 87th minute through star player Inaki Williams. The striker latched onto a superb ball behind the Barcelona defense from Gorka Gorozita before finishing it off confidently, but after a lengthy VAR review, the goal was ruled out due to Munyan’s handball in the run-up to the goal.
Surprisingly, Atlético would miss three chances in the space of five seconds in extra time at the end of the match. First Neco Williams missed the ball three yards from goal after his brother gave him a great chance, the Stegen player had to make a great save from Youri Berchichi and finally Marcos Alonso stopped a last attempt on goal on his own line.
Goalkeeper – Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 9/10 – He made three amazing saves in the match. You can see why he has conceded hardly any goals this season.
Right back – Sergi Roberto – 5/10 – Stroll strong enough.
Center back – Jules Conde – 6/10 – He made some remarkable tackles.
Center back – Andreas Christensen – 5/10 – He tracked well to prevent Berenguer from getting level.
Left back – Alejandro Balde – 6/10 – It progresses well sometimes.
CM – Jaffe – 7/10 – He threw himself into every challenge as if it were his last. A great and hardworking performance from the young man.
CM – Sergio Busquets – 7/10 – His clever pass to Rafinha led to the opening goal. Play well read all the time.
CM – Frenkie de Young – 5/10 – He fell too deep to get the ball, especially when he was playing alongside Busquets.
Right winger – Raphinha – 7/10 – He finished well at a crucial time in the match.
Striker – Robert Lewandowski – 4/10 – Just not on his game. The pause in play was hey and it never looked like he was going to score on Sunday night which is strange because he is literally Robert Lewandowski.
LW – Ferran Torres – 3/10 – He almost scored a great goal in the first two minutes, but barely appeared after that.
SUB – Frank Casey – 2/10 – He did nothing when he came. It barely ran its length.
SUB – Marcos Alonso – 5/10 – Made a crucial late block.
SUB – Ansu Fati – 4/10 – Calm when served.
SUB – Angel Alarcon – N/A.