Record start for Barca after 5-1 win against Athletic Bilbao

2012-12-02 01:16:28 GMT2012-12-02 09:16:28(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

FC Barcelona made history on Saturday night as they set the record for the best ever start to the season in the BBVA Primera Liga with a comfortable 5-1 win at home to Athletic Club Bilbao.

The win means Barca have 40 points from a possible 42 with 13 wins and one draw, to beat the previous record they had shared with Real Madrid (1991-92) before the game.

As with so many of their matches, the result was beyond doubt before halftime as Barca took a 3-0 lead thanks to goals from Gerard Pique, Leo Messi and Adriano Coreira.

Pique took advantage of a loose ball after Athletic keeper, Gorka Iraizoz did well to block a shot following a corner after 22 minutes

A Xavi Hernandez pass set Messi through on goal soon afterwards and his chip over Gorka was sliced into his own net by Amorebieta, when the ball may have been going wide.

Referee Mateu Lajoz's post match report, however, gave the goal to Messi, making it his 83rd of the year.

Gorka was forced to make good saves to deny Cesc Fabrigas on two occasions and Andres Iniesta missed when hit looked easier to score, but Adriano finished off a flowing team move with virtually the last kick of the half to make it 3-0.

Barca coach Tito Vilanova rested central defender Carles Puyol and striker David Villa, but played a side brimming with attacking talent that included Iniesta, Pedro and Messi.

Athletic meanwhile were without the injured Andoni Iriola, Carlos Gurpegui and Inigo Perez and suffered a further setback when Iker Muniain was forced out shortly before kickoff with a muscle contracture in his shoulder.

They would probably have made little difference, however, as Barca continued to control the second half.

Cesc Fabrigas finished off another flowing move with a near post drive to make it 4-0, before Ibai Gomez restored some pride for the visitors after beating the offside flag.

It was not to spark any reaction, however, as Messi scored his second of the night with a right foot finish after some more neat passing around the Athletic area. He is now one goal off equaling the all time record of 85 goals in a calendar year, set in 1972 by Gerd Muller and barring disaster that record will fall very soon.

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