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Athletic outplay Barcelona 4-0

By The Assam Tribune
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MADRID, Aug 16: European champions Barcelona were stunned by an Aritz Aduriz hat-trick and brilliant opener from Mikel San Jose as Athletic Bilbao took a 4-0 lead into the second-leg of the Spanish Super Cup.

Barca had picked up their fourth trophy of the year in Tbilisi on Tuesday with a 5-4 win over Sevilla in extra time in the UEFA Super Cup.

But those exertions clearly took their toll as an under-strength side was dominated from the off by the Basques who exacted revenge for defeat in the Copa del Rey final back in May.

San Jose fired in a volley from just inside the Barca half to break the deadlock before Aduriz struck three times in 15 second-half minutes to give Ernesto Valverde�s side a huge advantage heading into Monday�s second-leg.

�To score four against Barcelona is almost impossible. We are very satisfied with our work but the second leg is still to come and it is going to be very tough,� Aduriz told Spanish TV station Telecinco.

�We cannot think that Barca in their stadium can�t score four goals. They are the best and capable of doing anything.�

Barca�s defensive deficiencies had been laid bare in blowing a 4-1 lead against Sevilla that forced them into an energy-sapping extra 30 minutes in the Georgian capital.

However, with Gerard Pique among four first-team regulars rested the Catalans were even more of a shambles at the back and this time couldn�t be rescued by an off-colour Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.

It is the first time in 14 years that the Catalans have conceded four times in two consecutive games.

�It is going to be difficult, but we have won many matches by many goals and we will try until the last minute,� said a defiant Javier Mascherano.

�It is a one-off situation. They had four or five chances and scored four. Obviously that is not normal, especially given how we finished last season, but don�t count us out yet.

�Now we have to correct what we did wrong, but above all prepare for the return leg.�

San Jose began an unforgettable night for the hosts in fitting fashion as he pounced on Marc-Andre Ter Stegen�s headed clearance to fire the ball beyond the German �keeper from just beyond the halfway line. � AFP

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Athletic outplay Barcelona 4-0

MADRID, Aug 16: European champions Barcelona were stunned by an Aritz Aduriz hat-trick and brilliant opener from Mikel San Jose as Athletic Bilbao took a 4-0 lead into the second-leg of the Spanish Super Cup.

Barca had picked up their fourth trophy of the year in Tbilisi on Tuesday with a 5-4 win over Sevilla in extra time in the UEFA Super Cup.

But those exertions clearly took their toll as an under-strength side was dominated from the off by the Basques who exacted revenge for defeat in the Copa del Rey final back in May.

San Jose fired in a volley from just inside the Barca half to break the deadlock before Aduriz struck three times in 15 second-half minutes to give Ernesto Valverde�s side a huge advantage heading into Monday�s second-leg.

�To score four against Barcelona is almost impossible. We are very satisfied with our work but the second leg is still to come and it is going to be very tough,� Aduriz told Spanish TV station Telecinco.

�We cannot think that Barca in their stadium can�t score four goals. They are the best and capable of doing anything.�

Barca�s defensive deficiencies had been laid bare in blowing a 4-1 lead against Sevilla that forced them into an energy-sapping extra 30 minutes in the Georgian capital.

However, with Gerard Pique among four first-team regulars rested the Catalans were even more of a shambles at the back and this time couldn�t be rescued by an off-colour Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.

It is the first time in 14 years that the Catalans have conceded four times in two consecutive games.

�It is going to be difficult, but we have won many matches by many goals and we will try until the last minute,� said a defiant Javier Mascherano.

�It is a one-off situation. They had four or five chances and scored four. Obviously that is not normal, especially given how we finished last season, but don�t count us out yet.

�Now we have to correct what we did wrong, but above all prepare for the return leg.�

San Jose began an unforgettable night for the hosts in fitting fashion as he pounced on Marc-Andre Ter Stegen�s headed clearance to fire the ball beyond the German �keeper from just beyond the halfway line. � AFP