Without Lionel Messi, Barcelona stunned by Athletic Bilbao in La Liga opener

(CNN) — Missing Lionel Messi, La Liga winner Barcelona stumbled on a 1-0 defeat by Athletic Bilbao on Friday since the Spanish league season got underway in exciting fashion. Messi sustained a calf injury through pre-season and with no Argentine, Barca looked distinctly regular as replacement Aritz Aduriz’s stunning acrobatic volley from the game’s closing moments sealed Bilbao’s shock win. “The contest has put us into our location,” Barca defender Gerard Pique told Bloomberg. “We weren’t us.” Last year, Barcelona coasted to the La Liga title, losing only three times and finished 11 points clear from second-place Atletico Madrid. Messi was the leading scorer with 34 goals of the league. But went right for the Spanish winner on Friday. Barca striker Luis Suarez, who scored 33 goals last year, hit the post from the first half but shortly afterwards limped off with an injury. “Tests carried out on Saturday morning have confirmed that team player Luis Su??rez has an injured right calf,” said Barca’s site on Saturday. “His comeback will soon dictate his return to action” READ: Real Madrid heads into the new year with more questions than answers READ: World’s greatest soccer celebrities are playing a lot of Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann made their debuts for Barca, but it was the 38-year-old Aduriz who delivered the game’s magnificent finale. “Sometimes soccer can be so beautiful,” Aduriz told reporters. “It’ll be impossible not to miss this but everything has a start and an end. I am incredibly thankful to have the ability to opt for this end.” Bilbao, who finished eighth last season, were well worth their triumph with striker Inaki Williams often bothering the Barca defense. READ: the megabucks soccer star’s isolation READ:’Adrian!” Klopp hails Liverpool’s goalkeeper Meanwhile Barca and Bayern Munich have reached agreement to the transport of Philippe Coutinho to the Bundesliga team. The 27-year-old Brazil global will initially combine on a season-long loan, together with Bayern having an option to make the deal permanent to your 27-year-old forward. “We have observed Coutinho for quite a while. The name does not matter, just the quality,” Bayern main Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told the club website after the 2-2 draw with Hertha BSC in Friday’s Bundesliga opening match. “Clearly we have to finalise some details, but we’re thrilled to be bringing this player to Bayern,” added Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic. Coutinho, who joined Barcelona for a reported $170 million from Liverpool at 2018, has struggled to make an impact in Spain after starring in the English Premier League. He became the third most expensive player in history when he chose to Barcelona. Read more: https://bcuknowledgenow.com/wimbledon-tips/
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