Alexia Putellas in action in today's game / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

FCB: Paños, M. Torrejón, Ane, Ruth, Leire, M. Unzué (Gemma, min 74), Miriam, Melanie (Mariona, min 66), Alexia, Jenni & Olga (Bárbara, min 66).

Athletic: Ainhoa Tirapu, Ainhoa Vicente (Jone Ibañez, min 87), Irene, Lizaso, Iraia, Yulema (Maddi, min 90), Eunate, Garazi, Eli Ibarra (Leia, min 76), Gimbert & Maite Oroz.

Golas: 1-0, Miriam (min 23); 1-1, Melanie, en pròpia porteria (min 53).

Attendance: 2,413 (highest ever for a women's league game at the Miniestadi)

The FC Barcelona women’s team played some brilliant football against league leaders Athletic Bilbao in a huge game at the Miniestadi on Sunday, but a 1-1 draw means they remain four points adrift of the top of the table.

Alexia and Melanie both had chances early on as the Catalans dominated for the first half hour, and the intense effort was finally rewarded when Miriam struck her second goals of what is turning out to be a fine season for the midfielder. The best defence in the competition had been beaten, and Barcelona were temporarily just one point off the league top spot.

But Barça’s attempts to extend on their lead were thwarted by a tremendous Ainhoa Tirapu in the Athletic goal. Ruth García came closest with a header, and Melanie almost scored direct from a corner, while the visiting goalies save to deny Alexia was simply astonishing.

Own goal gets tie back level

Shortly after the restart, Eli Ibarra very nearly got the game level, but eventually it was an unfortunate Melanie who’s scored an own goal after misjudging a clearance to get the Basques back in the game. The goal woke the league leaders up, and Sandra Paños was suddenly very busy as the red and white shirts went on the rampage.

Barça gradually got back on top, especially after Bilbao’s Lisazo was ordered off for a second bookable offence (coach Joseba Aguirre was also given his marching orders), but to no avail against a tightly organised defence. Jenni Hermoso had the best chance of the second half just as the game was drawing to an end, and an intense encounter ended with the points divided and Athletic a step closer to winning the league for the first time since 2007.

Barça will keep battling on in their quest to win their fifth title in a row, but they will be looking to other teams to them a favour and take points off the leaders. As the game in Bilbao also ended 1-1, it means the teams have an equal head-to-head record, so in the case of the sides finishing level on points, it will come down to overall goal difference, which at the moment heavily favours FC Barcelona. So there is still hope…

[HIGHLIGHTS] FUTBOL FEM (Lliga): FC Barcelona... by fcbarcelona
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