Athletic Club 0-1 Barcelona: Raphinha takes charge at San Mames

Athletic Club 0-1 Barcelona: Raphinha takes charge at San Mames

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Barça held on for a valuable three points ahead of next weekend's Clasico

Raphinha scored the only goal of the game as Barcelona survived a late VAR call to beat Athletic Club 1-0 at San Mames on Sunday. 

Iker Williams had an 87th-minute goal ruled out for a handball by Iker Muniain as Barca moved nine points clear of Real Madrid ahead of next week's Clasico. 

The only goal of the game arrived on the stroke of halftime, with Raphinha firing home after good work from Sergio Busquets. 

It was the Brazilian's ninth goal of the season in all competitions but was only given following a VAR review after originally being ruled offside. 

In a first half of few real chances, Raul Garcia had come closest for Athletic, hitting the bar from a corner. 

Robert Lewandowski wasted Barça's best opening, taking a heavy touch after being fed by Frenkie de Jong before shooting straight at the goalkeeper. 

An uneventful second half ended in fiery fashion, though, as Athletic pushed for an equaliser in the last 15 minutes. 

Alex Berengeur hit the post and Marc-Andre ter Stegen saved from Munian before Williams thought he had levelled, racing on to a through ball. 

However, upon review, Muniain had handled in the move which led to the goal, forcing Gil Manzano to rule it out. 

In seven minutes of stoppage time, Athletic continued to push, but Yuri Berchiche and Gorka Guruzeta both saw shots blocked in a goal-mouth scramble. 

Barca held on for a ninth 1-0 win in LaLiga this season and a 19th clean sheet in 25 games. Beat Madrid next Sunday and they will be 12 points clear with 12 to play. 

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