Barcelona: Sevilla missed the chance to take first place in La Liga after a first half Aritz Aduriz volley gave Athletic Bilbao a 1-0 victory on Sunday.
The Andalusian club, who have shown the strong form this season that led them to win the Europa League title, were unable to get an eighth league win from 10 games and now lie fourth, two points behind leaders Real Madrid, on 22 points.
Athletic’s La Liga form has suffered as they have struggled with the extra demands of Champions League football but they came out on top thanks to a well struck volley from Aduriz in the centre of the penalty area after 13 minutes.
“It was a difficult game and we knew that we would have to take our chances as well as defend well,” Athletic full back Andoni Iraola told reporters.
“We were unable to get more goals but in the end it didn’t matter. Sevilla are a physical side, especially in midfield, and it was a hard fought game with a lot of fouls.”
Real moved top with a 4-0 win away to Granada on Saturday while Barcelona suffered a second straight defeat, going down 1-0 at home to Celta Vigo and are now third, ahead of Sevilla on goal difference, and a point behind Atletico Madrid.
Later on Sunday, Valencia have the chance to move second when they take on local rivals Villarreal.