Barca beaten by Bilbao on Muniain’s goal

By
Updated: December 1, 2013

Bilbao, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) – Barcelona suffered its first league defeat
of the campaign on Sunday as Iker Muniain’s goal 20 minutes from time lifted
Athletic Bilbao to a 1-0 win over the defending champions at the San Mames.

Playing without injured forward Lionel Messi and a host of other regulars,
Barca struggled to break down Bilbao’s backline, while Muniain made the most
of his chance in the 70th minute to move Bilbao into fourth place.

The loss leaves Barca tied atop the league with Atletico Madrid and only three
points clear of Real Madrid.

After losing to Ajax in the Champions League in midweek, Barca was looking to
get off to a good start and nearly did in the 12th minute when Neymar had a
shot tipped over the net by goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz.

Cesc Fabregas went close with a free kick in the 59th minute as Barca
continued to try and break the deadlock, but Athletic remained dangerous and
the home side snatched the lead in the 70th minute.

Markel Susaeta got down the right wing and delivered a low ball to the middle
of the penalty area that Muniain turned past goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto with
a first-time effort.

Things almost got worse for the visitors a few minutes later when Pinto was
called upon to make a fine stop on a close-range header from Gaizka Toquero.

But Barca was unable to muster much of an attack over the rest of the match
and Iraizoz was able to preserve his clean sheet without too much trouble.

Valencia downed 10-man Osasuna, 3-0, with Jonas scoring all three goals after
Francisco Punal was sent off for Osasuna just 16 minutes into the match.

Sevilla notched a 2-1 win at Granada with Kevin Gameiro scoring the winning
goal in the 87th minute, while relegation-battling sides Real Betis and Rayo
Vallecano finished in a 2-2 draw after Alberto Bueno scored the equalizer in
stoppage time for Rayo, giving him both goals for his side.