Barcelona endured a shock 1-0 defeat on the opening day of the season at Atletico Bilbao. The game was characterized by some sloppy play by the visitors which was punished at the death by veteran forward AritzAduriz.

Bilbao started well buoyed by the crowd at the San Mames stadium with forward Inaki Williams testing Marc Andre TerStegen with a long-range effort. Some few minutes later Williams was nearly put through on goal with Gerard Pique making an excellent recovery tackle.

New signing Frenkie De Jong had struggled initially with the high press by Bilbao but gradually began to boss the midfield which led to a period of Barcelona dominance.

The front three pairing of Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele had begun to show signs of a budding partnership.  By the halfway point of the first half, Luis Suarez pounced on a backpass and hit the ball beyond the onrushing goalkeeper only to be denied by the post.

That was the last action for the forward who was substituted after suffering a suspected calf injury. His absence was felt by the attack which looked disjointed.

Griezmann moved centrally while Suarez replacement Rafinha played on the right. Rafinha was lively and hit the crossbar late in the first half.

However, what will worry Valverde was the lack of impetus from the team after the exit of Suarez. It can be said that the absence of Lionel Messi also played a role but Barcelona had too many talented players on the pitch to play such dire football.

Dembele, in particular, has shown little signs of developing into the player that Barcelona envisages. the Frenchman was loose on the ball and made mistakes in his passing.

Barcelona fans will be hoping that Suarez injury is not serious as they can’t afford to lose their talismanic forward this early into the new season.