Depay Thunderbolt wins Barcelona point at Athletic Bilbao | Football news
Memphis Depay scored his first goal for Barcelona to save a 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday in La Liga, while defender Eric Garcia was given a red card in added time for a foul of last resort.
Athletics defender Inigo Martinez gave the hosts a deserved 50th-minute lead by coming home from a corner kick after his side dominated the first half and saw a clear shot from the line early in the match. the second.
Barca struggled to keep up with the intensity of Athletic but conceded when the Basques eased their foot on the gas and seemed content to defend their lead rather than looking for a second goal.
Frenkie de Jong hit the crossbar with a sumptuous chip and moments later Depay equalized in the 75th minute with a thunderous strike from a tight angle, his shot flying beyond the reach of the Athletic goalkeeper. helpless Julen Agirrezabala.
The Netherlands striker could then have snatched all three points from Barca when he descended from the left side of Athletic’s area again, but this time he sought to place his shot and get it out of the way. from the second post.
Barca defender Gerard Pique limped in the first half for Ronald Koeman’s side, who were playing their second game of the season after beating Real Sociedad 4-2 at home last week, in their first game of championship since the departure of Lionel Messi for Paris St Germain. .
Garcia received a back-to-back red card on his second outing for Barca when he shot Athletic forward Nico Williams down to the edge of the box, but the hosts failed to take advantage of the resulting free kick .
“We didn’t play a good game, we moved the ball a lot slower than usual and we need to improve a lot,” said Barca striker Antoine Griezmann.
“They pressed us really well and caused us a lot of damage as we did a lot of sloppy passes. We need to correct that because our opponents will start to notice it and will be able to see how they can hurt us.”
Barca should have taken the lead quickly when Depay arrived at the signing from the right and his low cross deflected at close range on Martin Braithwaite’s trajectory, but the Danish striker leaned back and skied his shot, leaving a glorious chance to go to waste.
Athletic then began their streak of domination and came close to winning the opener when midfielder Oihan Sancet rocked below the crossbar, while quick forward Inaki Williams led Barca to shreds.
Williams caused more damage to the visitors in the first minute of the second period when he passed behind defense and the ball bounced towards Alex Berenguer, but Barca defender Ronald Araujo came back to clear his shot out of the box. line.
Athletic’s goal came soon enough, however, with Martinez breaking free from his marker to peek into Iker Muniain’s corner and the 10,000 fans allowed into the club’s San Mames stadium erupted.
But they failed to capitalize and Depay, who joined Barca on a free transfer from Olympique Lyonnais after impressing coach Ronald Koeman with their time with the Dutch national team, made them pay.
“We feel like we have an unfinished business today, we missed the three points,” said Athletic striker Martinez.
“And that was our mistake because we let them come back into the game. The players they have up front can make a difference but we deserved a little more.”