Athletic Bilbao thrashed Barcelona in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup at the San Mames Stadium on Friday.
Copa del Rey runner-up Athletic Bilbao produced a stunning performance that astonished the champions Barcelona on their visit to Basque county. Barca dominated the possession throughout the game but Bilbao forward Aritz Aduriz notched a hat-trick to claim a famous victory.
Midfielder Mikel San Jose opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a sensational 40-yard half-volley. Despite Barca dominated the possession, it was Bilboa who enjoyed the advantage of being 1-0 up in the opening 45 minutes of the match. Luis Enrique’s side failed to recover from that setback and managed just one shot on target during the first half.
La Liga champions Barcelona got the chance to equalize just after the interval when Pedro’s shot came off the crossbar. The Spain international Aduriz scored the second goal in the 53rd minute, heading past Barca goalkeeper following good foot-work on the left. He grabbed his second of the evening just seven minutes later piercing through the Barca defense line.
Aduriz claimed his hat-trick in the 67th minute when he netted the ball from the penalty spot after Dani Alves was penalized for an off the ball push. Basque side Bilbao is in the driving seat ahead of the second leg at the Camp Nou on Monday while the Catalan side has a huge task of overturning the deficit to prevent the opponents getting their hands on the first piece of silverware of the season.
On Tuesday, Barca defeated Sevilla 5-4 after extra-time to lift the European Super Cup and Luis Enrique made several changes with Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic and Gerard Pique began the match on the bench. “I have made changes to the side and I accept the responsibility for the loss,” he said.
This humiliating defeat will concern Barca boss Luis Enrique as his side starts the campaign to defend last season’s treble - La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League winners - with their opening domestic league fixture coming against Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames. IMAGE/mundodeportivo.com