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Ivan Rakitic, Arda Turan lift Barcelona to victory at Athletic Bilbao

Ivan Rakitic scored the lone goal for Barcelona as they held on for a 1-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao.

Just as Luis Enrique had predicted, Barca were made to sweat for the three points in a typically rain-swept and hot tempered encounter at San Mames but they did just what was required, with Ivan Rakitic's 20th minute header proving enough to take the three points.

Barca survived two second-half scares against Athletic Bilbao, a Raul Garcia shot that whistled past the far post and Iker Muniain's late appeal for a penalty, but also missed a series of chances to put the game to bed.

Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao
BarcelonaBarcelona
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Positives

Despite...

Barca's busy summer in the market has made the squad deeper, hungrier

Jasper Cillessen hopes to make the No.1 goalkeeper choice a difficult one for Luis Enrique.
The draw for the Champions league saw Pep Guardiola's Manchester City be drawn in the same group as his former club Barcelona.

With a big smile on his face and his family sat at the back of the press room, Jasper Cillessen spoke about how "proud" he is to become the latest Dutch player to represent Barcelona under the ground at Camp Nou on Friday. The Netherlands international joined the club from Ajax for an initial fee of €13 million and will compete with Marc-Andre ter Stegen for a first-team place following Claudio Bravo's transfer to Manchester City

Cillessen is Barca's fifth signing of the summer...

 By Sid Lowe

Pep Guardiola chief among 'best of enemies' Man City and Barcelona

The draw for the Champions league saw Pep Guardiola's Manchester City be drawn in the same group as his former club Barcelona.

In the morning Claudio Bravo was a Barcelona player; by the afternoon he was their opponent and rival, the man who must stop them. Welcome, Claudio. Welcome back, Claudio. Somewhere in a Monte Carlo hotel, there was a cheeky whisper in Thierry Henry's ear: see if you can keep us apart, yeah? Everybody laughed, but many a true word said in jest and all. Besides, Henry couldn't keep them apart. Instead, he brought them together, fishing familiar names from that glass bowl. Manchester City will...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Trending: Champions League revamped, Pep back to Barcelona

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol presents a few of the Champions League groups to look out for in this year's competition.
Take an in-depth look at the UCL draw and see how each of the teams will line up in this year's competition.

Here are the latest stories for Friday.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Europe's top four leagues will have four guaranteed places in the Champions League group stage from the 2018-19 season, UEFA has confirmed.

- Pep Guardiola will return to the Camp Nou after Manchester City and Barcelona were drawn together in the Champions League group stage draw on Thursday.

- Marcotti: Guardiola's Barcelona return headlines draw

Group-by-group previews and predictions

EUROPA LEAGUE: Manchester United...

 By Simon Kuper

Jasper Cillessen must regain his World Cup form to have any chance at Barca

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol breaks down all the latest moves and rumours from around the world of football.
Alejandro Moreno and Mark Donaldson discuss who will be Barcelona's No. 1 goalkeeper if Jasper Cillessen moved to the club.

When Jasper Cillessen heard a few weeks ago that FC Barcelona was interested in him, he thought it was a joke. Ajax's goalkeeper has been playing badly lately. He says -- probably rightly -- that even when he is in form, his hero Edwin van der Sar was "many times better than I am". The 27-year-old Dutchman probably isn't a world-class keeper. However, he is a Barca-type keeper: able to fulfill the very unusual demands that Barcelona places on its keeper, or as the Catalan club thinks of the job,...

No fears for Barcelona despite tough Champions League group

Take an in-depth look at the UCL draw and see how each of the teams will line up in this year's competition.

Barcelona have been drawn against Manchester City, Borussia Monchengladbach and Celtic in the Champions League. Here's a look at their European campaign.

General overview

Looking at some of the other groups, it's fair to say the Champions League draw could have gone better for Barca, but Luis Enrique and his players must still be confident of progressing from their group in top spot.

One of the big narratives -- possibly the biggest -- to come out of the draw in Monaco is the pairing of Barca and...