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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Messi-less Barcelona lose their first opening La Liga fixture since 2009.

With Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez out injured, Barcelona lost their opening La Liga match 0-1 away to Athletico Bilbao, the first time since 2009.

Artiz Aduriz scored Bilbao’s goal in the 89th minute, in a game that the defending champions truly deserved to lose. According to statistics, Bilboa had five shots on target to Barcelona’s one, though Barcelona had 72 per cent of possession.

What they obviously lacked was the clinical finish, accentuated by the absence of captain Lionel Messi, who is for now sidelined by injury. And it was remarkable that the only shot the champions had towards goal was by Suarez in the 33rd minute, the last act that created his injury.

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