Rakitic rescues win for sluggish Barca

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Barca had slipped off the top of the table after Friday’s 0-0 draw at Sevilla and put in another sluggish display at an empty Camp Nou, as the star-studded front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann failed to sparkle.

La Liga Santander – FC Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao – Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain – June 23, 2020 Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic scores their first goal, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS/Albert Gea

La Liga Santander – FC Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao – Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain – June 23, 2020 Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic scores their first goal, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS/Albert Gea
They finally found a way through in the 71st minute when Messi slipped the ball into the path of Rakitic, who had only been on the pitch for six minutes and kept his nerve to beat Athletic’s in-form goalkeeper Unai Simon.

The win took Barca to the top of the standings on 68 points although Real Madrid, on 65, will reclaim their lead due to their superior head-to-head record if they beat Real Mallorca at home on Wednesday.

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