I'm sure Marc Guiu had dreamed of it a thousand times: to make his debut and score. And the 17-year-old striker from Sant Celoni made it two-for-one. His debut with Barça's first team, in fact, was very sweet. As soon as he took to the pitch, in a match that threatened to choke Xavi's team, he scored a goal that was worth its weight in gold. His goal, in the end, would mean a 1-0 win that gave the Barça players a victory that puts them one point behind their great rival, Real Madrid, at the gates of the first classic of the season.

With an unprecedented forward line, formed by Fermín and Joao Félix who were exchanging their positions between the left wing and the attacking tip while Ferran always tried to start as close as possible to the lime on the right, Barça, throughout the first 45 minutes, created danger only by lurching. The Portuguese was perhaps the most outstanding in such tasks, although the Valencian also left some flashes of quality.

Athletic, firmly planted on the pitch, meanwhile, stifled time and again the attempts to get out by braiding the play of the Barça players, forced to look again and again for the long ball or the individual imbalance to threaten an Unai Simón always very safe under the posts.

The visitors, on the other hand, were perhaps more comfortable when it came to encircling the domains of a Ter Stegen who, once again, was terribly focused on the pitch. This is how the German managed to thwart the arrivals of Valverde's team. Above all, against an Iñaki Williams who was looking hard for the opportunity to open the can in Montjuïc.

Valverde's men, who were not excessively diminished by injuries to Ander Herrera in the warm-up, and Yuri, who had to give up his place to Lekue before the first half hour of play was over, went into the break with unbeatable sensations, while Barça, on the other hand, could not find a way to create superiority from their favourite pitch: the midfield.

Barça, surely aware of the need not to stumble at home just before hosting Real Madrid, took to the pitch after the break with a very different attitude to the one shown throughout the first 45 minutes. At the start of the second half, Barça looked like they had shifted their performance into another gear. But Athletic, far from being intimidated, withstood the first onslaughts and once again looked to tickle the Barcelona backline. The one who had to work hard in the first moments of the restart, despite everything, was Unai Simón, capable of making a double save after two consecutive shots from Joao Félix and Fermín López.

Lamine Yamal also had a clear chance after coming on the pitch after a good move by Joao Felix. His shot, however, did not find the goal. When the 0-0 was threatening to stay on the scoreboard, the inspiration of another young debutant appeared: Marc Guiu. The 17-year-old striker couldn't have had a better debut: his thing was to go out and score. With just under ten minutes to go in regulation time, he made it 1-0 and gave Barça three hard-fought points. And, by the way, he entered the elite strongly.

  • FC Barcelona
  • Athletic de Bilbao