Barcelona go six points clear at the top with draw against Athletic Bilbao. Lionel Messi return not enough to spark win.
Lionel Messi was back in the Barcelona starting line-up but they were held to a 0-0 draw at Athletic Bilbao. Lionel Messi‚Äôs return from injury could not inspire Barcelona to an away win as they were held to a goalless draw by Athletic Bilbao.
The Argentinian superstar returned from a thigh injury which kept him on the bench for the first hour of in their midweek Copa del Rey draw with Real Madrid.
They needed a man of the match display from goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen to ensure they left San Mames with a point after a lacklustre display.
Ernesto Valverde‚Äôs side missed out on the chance to move eight points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the table, and the gap continues to close with just six points new separating the sides at the summit.
Athletic, meanwhile, gave their survival hopes a boost after being beaten by Real Sociedad last weekend.
Valverde‚Äôs men held despite Messi‚Äôs return to starting XI. Barcelona drew for the third match in a row on Sunday, as Athletic Bilbao claimed a 0-0 draw against them at San Mames.
Lionel Messi‚Äôs return to the starting line-up was not enough to prevent Barcelona drawing a third successive match across all competitions, as Athletic Bilbao held out for a 0-0 stalemate at San Mames in LaLiga.
Argentina superstar Messi was only named among the substitutes for Wednesday‚Äôs 1-1 Copa del Rey draw against Real Madrid having struggled with a thigh injury and he looked a little off colour as Barca end the weekend just six points clear of Los Blancos in second.
Athletic edged an entertaining first half and went close on a couple of occasions, while Barca appeared to be missing the talents of Arthur in midfield ‚Äď Arturo Vidal failing to impress in a similar role to the injured Brazilian, who faces a month out.
Ernesto Valverde‚Äôs side had little luck creating clear-cut opportunities in the second half ‚Äď albeit Nelson Semedo was contentiously denied a last-gasp penalty ‚Äď and could have even have lost as Athletic, who had Oscar De Marcos sent off for a second bookable offence in injury-time, went close twice late on.
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