Athletic Club Bilbao took a huge strike towards winning their first title in 31 years as an Aritz Aduriz hat-trick gifted them a stunning 4-0 win at home over FC Barcelona in the first leg of the Spanish Supercup in their San Mames Stadium on Friday night.


Barca will point to the fact that they rested key players, tired after Tuesday’s epic European Supercup in Georgia, but Athletic were also without several key players and Barca can have few excuses after being comprehensively outplayed by the Basques for the majority of the 90 minutes.

Mikel San Jose opened the scoring with a stunning goal from almost his own half after just 13 minutes after he collected a headed clearance from Barca keeper Ter Stegen.

The midfielder controlled and hit the ball 50 yards into an empty net, with the keeper stranded.
Athletic were faster and sharper and not afraid to halt play with a foul when needed and Barca’ s only chance came on the stroke of halftime when Gorka Iraizoz did well to palm out.

Pedro Rodriguez hit the bar for Barca early in the second half before Aduriz opened his account with a fine header following a cross from youngster Sabin Merino, who was making his home debut.

With Barca reeling Aduriz went on to complete a 14 minute hat-trick: his third goal came just after the hour after the Barca defense failed to clear a cross into their area and the fourth arrived from the penalty spot after Dani Alves, who had a dreadful night, had fouled Xabi Etxeita.

Barca will feel that if Leo Messi and company have a good day in the return leg on Monday they can still turn the result around, but with Athletic filled with confidence it will be tough, especially if they defend as badly as they did today and their rivals perform and an equally high level. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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