Ivan Rakitic
Ivan Rakitic

FC Barcelona on Tuesday moved back on top of the La Liga table, thanks to a winner in 71st minute from Ivan Rakitic in the game against Athletic Bilbao.

Rakitic, came in as a substitute in the second half and scored the goal, after a swift assist from Lionel Messi who was lucky to still be on the pitch after an incident two minutes earlier when he caught Athletic defender Yeray Alvarez with a full set of studs on his ankle.

The first half was a very even affair with few chances, although Athletic's Inaki Williams, playing his 150th consecutive game, could have done better than hit the side netting on a break.

Barca controlled the second half better, but created few chances until Rakitic's goal.

"We can't worry about our rival, just about us," Barcelona coach Quique Setién said.

"We needed to win, and now we wait to see what happens in their match."

Messi, who turned 33 on Wednesday, again wasn't able to score his milestone 700th career goal for club and country. He came close twice with shots that just missed the target late in the second half.

Real Madrid will return to the top of the table if they beat Mallorca on Wednesday night.

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