It’s not just the strikers that score for Barça. Today, it was midfielder Ivan Rakitic who was the only man able to get the ball past Athletic keeper Gorka Iraizoz – and his header ensured three crucial points at San Mamés.
“It was very important to make them move and wear them down” said the Croat after the game was over. “It’s very hard to come here. Athletic thrive on the pressure that’s created in their stadium. They don’t make it easy at all for you.”
“I’m really happy with the result. Games here tend to all be very similar and I think we deserved to win in the end. This win shows that we are ready to compete against the very best.”
Another of the standout performers tonight was goalkeeper Ter Stegen, who admitted that “it’s always difficult to play short passes when you come here. We’re really glad to be going away with a win.”
New signing Denis Suárez, who was once again used in the starting line-up, commented afterwards that “I felt comfortable out there. I’m really pleased that the boss has such faith in me and happy to be able respond on the pitch.”
Finally, left back Jordi Alba also spoke to the press about the win, saying that “we did well at moving the ball out of defence and managed to generate plenty of goalscoring chances.”