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Injury List Grows As Barca’s Title Hopes Take A Knock

BILBAO, SPAIN – MARCH 03: Robert Lewandowski of FC Barcelona is challenged by Benat Prados of Athletic Club during the LaLiga EA Sports match between Athletic Bilbao and FC Barcelona at Estadio de San Mames on March 03, 2024 in Bilbao, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Barcelona failed to take advantage of Real Madrid and Girona dropping points as they played to a goalless draw against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday night.


Result: Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona

Date: 03 March 2024

Venue: San Mames

Coach Xavi Hernandez made just one change from the big win over Getafe last weekend, as Pedri returned to the line-up as Joao Felix dropped to the bench.

The Catalan giants had the chance to boost their title hopes of Real Madrid drew with Valencia while Girona lost to Real Mallorca.

The opening exchanges proved to be quite a cagey affair as both sides struggled to carve out clear-cut openings, even with the possession evenly shared in the opening 20 minutes.

Midway through the first half, Xavi was forced to make an alteration to the side when Frenkie de Jong was stretchered off after landing awkwardly. He was replaced by Fermin Lopez.

Barcelona almost broke the  deadlock on 30 minutes when Ilkay Gundogan slipped Pedri through on goal, however Unai Simon did well to deny the attack while the shot-stopper also did well to keep out Joao Cancelo’s long range effort moments later.

The visitors were hit with another injury before the halftime break, as Pedri was unable to continue with a foot injury. Xavi opted to introduce Highly-rated teenager Lamine Yamal on the left flank.

It was more of the same in the early stages of the second half as Barcelona struggled to fashion any clear-cut openings despite enjoying most of the possession.

Xavi responded with a trip change to improve their attack for the final 20 minutes, as Joao Felix, Oriel Romero and Inigo Martinez were introduced in place of Pau Cubarsi, Raphinha and Andreas Christensen.

However, the changes would not pay off for Xavi’s side who struggled to create a single big chance in the closing stages as they were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.

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