Barcelona 2 - 1 Athletic Bilbao

Match info: La Liga at Camp Nou

Date: 20/04/2014 KO: 20:00 Ref: Juan Martinez Munuera Att: 57,090

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Barcelona

Pedro 72
Lionel Messi 75

2
vs
1

Ath Bilbao

Aritz Aduriz 50

FT (ht: 0-0)

  • Last Updated: April 19 2014, 11:41 BST

Andres Iniesta wants Barcelona to summon all their strength as they look to keep their slim title hopes alive at Athletic Bilbao this weekend.

Iniesta: Sets his sights on the title
Iniesta: Sets his sights on the title

Gerardo Martino's position as Barcelona coach is looking increasingly precarious after his team lost three games in a row for the first time in 11 years.

Atletico Madrid knocked Barca out of the Champions League before the Catalans' hopes of winning the Primera Division took a big blow when they suffered a shock defeat to Granada.

The worst loss of the lot came on Wednesday night when Gareth Bale scored a stunning winner for Real Madrid against their most bitter rivals in the Copa del Rey final in Valencia.

For the first time in six years, Barcelona look set to end the season without a trophy. Atletico Madrid are now seven points ahead following their 2-0 win over Elche on Friday night, but Iniesta is refusing to give up on the league just yet.

"It was a shame we could not win the cup," the Barcelona midfielder told his club's website.

"We've gone out of two cups recently and now we should use all the strength we have to try to win the league."

Barca will be looking to Lionel Messi to raise his game against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday night after the Argentinian put in his latest sub-par showing in midweek.

The forward was completely outshone by Bale, who galloped over 50 yards and scored despite a very obvious attempt by Marc Bartra to push the rapid Welshman off the ball.

Bartra is a doubt for this weekend's visit of Athletic, but star man Neymar will definitely miss out because of a foot injury that will keep him sidelined for up to four weeks.

Neymar hit a post in the dying minutes of the cup final, shortly after Bale's goal, to sum up Barcelona's night.

The Catalans enjoyed the lion's share of possession but were unable to convert their chances, much to Martino's displeasure.

"We have had a lack of precision in the final third," the Barcelona coach told a press conference.

"We have to rediscover that and we have a duty to fight until the end."

Fourth-placed Athletic, who go into the weekend six points ahead of

their nearest challengers Sevilla, are unbeaten away from home in almost four months.

The Basque side beat Barcelona 1-0 at San Mames earlier this season thanks to a goal from Iker Muniain.

Athletic goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz thinks Barca are one of the best teams on the planet despite their recent woes and wants his team-mates to treat the opposition with respect.

"Playing in Barcelona is always difficult because they are a team that is capable of winning the league," Iraizoz said.

"When we talk about Barcelona, you can't forget that they have players capable of winning every title possible. They are one of the best teams in the world.

"They can win any match they want so we have to treat them with the respect that they deserve."

Athletic will be without midfielder Mikel Rico as he has not recovered from a foot injury.


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