Messi shines as impressive Barca win in Bilbao

BILBAO, Spain — Lionel Messi was at the top of his game as Barcelona earned a 3-2 win at Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday to move up to third in La Liga.

Athletic got off to a dream start in their first match under new coach Marcelino when forward Inaki Williams latched on to a low through ball and raced towards goal, beating one defender before firing low into the net in the third minute.

Barca quickly responded, however, with a sensational team goal, Messi delivering a superb pass to pick out Frenkie de Jong by the byline and the Dutchman volleyed the ball back across the area for 18-year-old Pedri to head home. Messi and Pedri combined beautifully to put Barca ahead, the youngster receiving a pass from the Argentine before returning it with a delightful backheel and Messi rolled the ball into the bottom corner in the 38th minute. — Reuters

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