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Friday, 24 September 2021

Without Messi, Barcelona lose 1st league opener in 10 years

AP , Friday 16 Aug 2019
Aritz Aduriz
Athletic Bilbao's Spanish forward Aritz Aduriz (2R) celebrates his goal with teammates (AFP)

Barcelona lost their opening Spanish league match for the first time in a decade on Friday, falling at Athletic Bilbao 1-0.

Veteran striker Aritz Aduriz scored the winner with a spectacular scissor-kick a minute after coming off the bench in the 88th minute, handing Barcelona the loss after 10 straight wins to start the league.

Antoine Griezmann couldn't make up for Lionel Messi's absence. Griezmann was held scoreless in his competitive debut after joining from rival Atletico Madrid in the offseason.

He didn't have Messi by his side because the Argentina star is nursing a right calf injury, and he couldn't count on Luis Suarez either after the Uruguay striker had to be replaced because of an injury in the first half at San Mames Stadium.

Barcelona had most of the significant chances, being denied by the woodwork a few times.

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