Frenkie de Jong’s La Liga debut for Barcelona ended in a 1-0 defeat at Athletic Bilbao.

The La Liga opener saw De Jong named in the starting line-up for Barcelona, along with fellow new signing Antoine Griezmann. Lionel Messi was missing though with the Argentinian out injured.

Athletic Bilbao had a clear plan for De Jong with Raul Garcia chosen to man-mark the midfielder from the start. Garcia floored the Dutchman in the opening minute to send out a signal.

The home side created the better chances early on but before the break Barcelona had hit the woodwork twice through Luis Suarez and Rafinha.

After the break, Barcelona pushed for an opening goal, with De Jong trying to get involved as much as possible. However, it was Athletic who made the breakthrough late on through a spectacular Aritz Aduriz scissor-kick.

The loss will increase the pressure on Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde, who has already lost a section of the club’s fanbase. Next up for Barcelona is a home tie against Real Betis next Sunday.




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