Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Barcelona: Depay seals a point with first Blaugrana goal

By Sports Desk August 21, 2021

Memphis Depay's first goal for Barcelona secured a 1-1 draw for Ronald Koeman's side against Athletic Bilbao at San Mames on Saturday.

Barca started life without Lionel Messi – who joined Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month – with a 4-2 win over Real Sociedad last weekend, but they were well off the pace for much of the clash with Marcelino's side.

The hosts had seven shots to Barca's three in a lively first half and they deservedly went ahead five minutes after the restart when Inigo Martinez steered a header past Neto.

Former Lyon forward Depay ensured a share of the spoils 15 minutes from full-time, though, lashing home from an acute angle moments after Frenkie De Jong had hit the crossbar.

Eric Garcia was then sent off in the final moments of the match as Barca dropped their first points of the new season.

Martin Braithwaite squandered a glorious opportunity to put Barca ahead after six minutes, the Denmark international inexplicably blazing over from 10 yards after Depay's cross was deflected into his path.

That miss should have been punished five minutes later, but Oihan Sancet's instinctive effort crashed back off Neto's crossbar.

Inaki Williams headed over from inside the six-yard box shortly after the half-hour mark, while Ronald Araujo – who had earlier replaced the injured Gerard Pique – saw an overhead kick ruled out for a foul by Braithwaite in the build-up.

Araujo was in the thick of the action at the start of the second period, acrobatically clearing Alex Berenguer's strike off the line, but he was powerless to stop Martinez storming in to head home Iker Muniain's corner in the 50th minute. 

Neto pawed away Sancet's powerful strike soon after as Athletic continued to press, before Frenkie De Jong crashed a sumptuous half-volley against the crossbar.

His Netherlands team-mate was not to be denied, though, Depay thundering an effort past Julen Agirrezabala from a tight angle to secure a point for Koeman’s below-par side, who had Garcia dismissed deep into stoppage time for bringing down Nico Williams as he bore down on goal.

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