Artiz Aduriz leads Bilbao to defeat Barcelona on the first day

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Aritz Aduriz scores amazing early bike kicks to crash the starts of Griezmann and De Jong

Aritz Aduriz is 38 years old. He has already announced that this is going to be the final phase of a profession stretching back to the last decade, knowing that his time is up. It was the day of the opening. Two minutes were provided to him, sent in the 88th minute. And he’s been up against FC Barcelona, the champions of the defending league.

And? When he jumped into the area, the Athletic Club striker was on the pitch 65 seconds, turned his body sideways and smashed an absurd acrobatic volley into the net with his first touch to defeat Barcelona. Bilbao could hardly think what he had just seen.

The game was a shock to Barcelona

As San Mamés walked wild and Aduriz opened his arms wide, Inaki Williams, the striker he had replaced, stood and applauded; the Barça coach, Ernesto Valverde, was just standing over by the other bench. In the last two seasons, his club was only defeated four occasions–and two of those losses had already earned the championship. They have lost a quarter of that already.

“Bloody hell, it was a sense of tremendous happiness,” said Gaizka Garitano, Athletic Manager. “When the ball came into the atmosphere and I saw how he was placing his body, prepared for the overhead swing, well ‚” confessed Valverde, the pause stating it all. He had previously collaborated with Aduriz here; he realized. “It’s a danger every time the ball is in the air in the box, and he scored a brilliant goal,” added Valverde, “I wasn’t at all amazed.”

It was everybody else. This shouldn’t have happened. However, Barcelona could not have complaints. With Lionel Messi being wounded, Luis Suárez leaving in the first quarter with a calf strain, Antoine Griezmann being mainly meaningless and Ousmane Dembélé worse, losing nearly every ball he received and never carrying a danger, this was a terrible show. It was also one that could boost the concept that they might after all be able to do with Neymar. There was such a small spark, no courageous, no speed shift, no creativity.

Gerard Piqué’s statement

Yet, beyond the front three, it got deeper than that. This was a loss that will raise the stress on a coach who came on the manner out at the start of last season and is just a few poor outcomes away from the start. Barcelona was bad everywhere against a hard, severe athletic side. “Physically they were stronger than us,” Gerard Piqué confessed, and the Catalans felt like a squad that had a pre-season that carried them all over the globe (if they looked like a squad at all).

However, it got deeper than that. It wasn’t just physics, it was soccer. “In the first half, we didn’t get game control,” Valverde admitted, although they hit the post twice, first from Suárez–his last act–and then from Rafinha. The second wasn’t much better: if they had more of the ball, if the manager said they had camped in the athletic half rather optimistically, Ivan Rakitic would come on to gain some control, they would create little. The shot over the Croatian was the only real chance. There wasn’t a sense of urgency, the feeling that in quest of a prize they would toss everything at this.

Time moved away from them, then Aduriz substituted Williams with two minutes remaining and went on to an enormous roar that was rapidly substituted by something even louder.

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