You could almost sense the relief inside an empty Camp Nou when Ivan Rakitic fired Barcelona ahead against a dogged and determined Athletic Club.
A one-two with Lionel Messi on 71 minutes was enough to see the Croatian create some space in the penalty area, and his fierce shot was too hot to handle for Athletic keeper, Unai Simon.
To that point, the visitors had more than held their own against Quique Setien’s side, who again looked off colour for the most part, and who knows just how important it will be by the end of the season.
You can see the goal below, footage courtesy of beIN Sports.
Ivan Rakitic goal vs. Bilbao | 1-0 | 71 Minut pic.twitter.com/NmjOiBGPel
— GOAT | ? (@BarcaDK) June 23, 2020
Athletic Bilbao can’t clear, Messi slips it to Rakitic and Barcelona finally breaks through
— Planet Fútbol (@si_soccer) June 23, 2020