Athletic Club – FC Barcelona: League title will have to wait (2-2)

A last minute equalizer from Ander means Barça cannot be mathematically proclaimed champions tonight

Barça’s 22nd La Liga title will have to wait. A last gasp equalizer from Ander Herrera thwarted the team’s hope of wrapping up the league tonight and whatever happens in Madrid, the title will have to wait. Barça’s last ever game in San Mames will be remembered as a real epic battle, played in the rain at a typically high tempo and with plenty of goals and chances. Susaeta opened the scoring in the first half and nearly got the second with a shot that rattled the woodwork. Barça turned the score around after the break when Messi came off the bench and in a three minute flurry the Argentinean and Alexis made it 1-2 and seemed to have ensured the points until Ander’s last minute effort.

Alexis hits the post

Bilbao came out fired up for the game and under the pouring rain they started at a tremendous rate which Barça found it hard to match. Slowly but surely though, Tito Vilanova’s men began to impose their control on the game and just past the quarter hour mark a great one-two with Thiago, Alexis was unlucky to see his effort hit the post.

Susaeta opens the scoring

It was non-stop, end-to-end stuff now and Bilbao were the first to strike when Susaeta was set up by a lovely piece of skill from Arduriz to stroke home. Barça kept at it though and Cesc came very close with an attempt that nearly sneaked in from a very tight angle, but the score stayed at 1-0 when the teams went in at the break,

Messi changes the game

The second half continued at the same pace and Susaeta nearly doubled his tally on 55 minutes when he struck a free kick against the woodwork – then with the rebound San José’s header hit the other post.

Now Tito shuffled his pack and sent on Messi and almost immediately the game changed, as the world number one first created a great chance and then found the net himself with a spectacular goal, beating three defenders before firing past the keeper.

Ander gets last minute equaliser

Almost straight afterwards, Alves broke down the right and Messi helped his cross on for Alexis, who made no mistake to make it 1-2. It had taken just three minutes for Barça to turn the result around and it looked as if they had done enough to give them the points and open the door to the title tonight if Real Madrid failed to win, but in the 90 the minute – just after Messi had nearly made it three with a free kick –the defence failed to clear a ball and Ander Herrera pounced to give Valdes no chance and rescue a point for the Basques. The title will have to wait!