Published: Mon, October 01, 2018
Sport | By Matt Richards

Barcelona held by Athletic for 3rd straight setback in Liga

Barcelona held by Athletic for 3rd straight setback in Liga

La Liga champions Barcelona's domestic struggles continued as they dropped points for the third game in a row, drawing 1-1 at home to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday after Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets had begun the match on the substitutes' bench.

The Argentinian hit the woodwork for the seventh time this season as Barca desperately chased an equaliser following their 2-1 defeat at lowly Leganes on Wednesday and 2-2 draw with Girona last weekend, eventually providing the cross for Munir El Haddadi's 84th-minute leveller.

"We can't depend on Messi to enter the match and solve things for us", Suarez said.

"Of course we need the points", Valverde said, adding, "any team needs the points but for us even more so, because every team Barcelona loses, there is an natural disaster". "These results have been a shame, but we have to stay calm because it's a long season".

More news: Canada refusing to make concessions on NAFTA

Lionel Messi's importance to Barcelona does not diminish with the passing of the years - they go into Wednesday's Champions League group game with Tottenham relying on him more than ever, Daily Mail reports.

'Last season we were hard to score against and now teams score against us from the slightest chance.

Barcelona finished the first half of last season having conceded only nine goals, but there have already been seven which have gone past them this season.

Messi also stated, "You are threatening me, you are threatening me".

More news: North Korea says peace with USA possible, but only if hostility ends

And Valverde is under no illusions about the challenge facing Barca against the Premier League side, who lost 2-1 at Inter despite taking the lead in their Group B opener. "It's absolutely my responsibility". "If we win, very good, and if we lose, very bad".

Athletic's resistance finally caved in when Munir turned in Messis low cross and Ivan Rakitic had a final chance to win it late on for the Catalans, but sent the ball flying over the bar. "They scored the only time they got a shot on goal".

"We have to improve".

More news: Oil eases, but Iran sanctions keep Brent above $80 a barrel

Like this: