BARCELONA have been beaten 1-0 by Athletic Bilbao in La Liga’s opening fixture thanks to a stunning late goal from Artiz Aduriz.
The 38-year-old Spaniard produced an outrageous scissor-kick moments after coming on to secure all three points.
Ernesto Valverde’s side were without Lionel Messi and they were left frustrated by their Basque hosts in a game which really struggled to get going – until Aduriz’s cameo.
BARCELONA hit the woodwork twice in the San Mames, but struggled to dictate the tempo of the game and create chances on a regular basis.
The visitors also lost their talismanic striker Luis Suarez to injury early in the first-half.
Barca handed starts to summer signings Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann, while Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets were condemned to the bench.
From the first minute, the pacy Inaki Williams was a constant threat and the Spaniard was put through one-one-one in the 15th minute, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen was equal to his close-range effort.
Unai Lopez tested Ter Stegen again from range on the half hour mark, but the German was equal to his effort, with Barca yet to have a shot on goal.
But a minute later, Suarez struck the post after a horrendous back-pass from Lopez fell to the Uruguayan in the Bilbao box.
Straight after his miss, Suarez had to be subbed off for Rafinha due to an injury to his right calf.
And the substitute almost made the perfect impact in the 44th minute, but his long-range effort crashed back off the crossbar after a fingertip save from Unai Simon.
Rakitic was introduced at the break for Carles Alena to try and establish some control in the middle of the park for the visitors.
Rafinha had the first big chance of the second-half after a wonderful reverse pass from Ousmane Dembele, but the Brazilian’s effort was deflected agonisingly wide for a corner.
Both sides really struggled to test the opposing goalkeeper in the second-half, with most of the action being contested in the middle of the pitch.
Rakitic finally forced an effort on goal 70 minutes into the game after latching onto a loose ball in the box, only to see his effort fly over Simon’s crossbar.
Bilbao seemed content with a point in the latter stages of the game as Barca dominated possession.
But late in the day, the Blaugrana were made to pay for their lack of ideas going forward as Aduriz scored his stunning late winner.