A brace by Lionel Messi led Barcelona to a 3-2 win at Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish league on Wednesday.
Teenager Pedro “Pedri” González cancelled out Iñaki William’s opener for Bilbao before Messi added two goals to secure an away win for Barcelona that lifted it into third place.
Williams gave Marcelino García Toral a perfect start to his debut match as Bilbao’s new coach in the third minute. The forward broke free down the left flank, cut back inside Clement Lenglet, and drilled a low shot under goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen.
But once Messi and Pedri started to click, Barcelona dominated the game except for a lone goal by Iker Munian in the 90th minute after a poor pass by Messi.
Pedri equalized in the 14th when he headed in a ball knocked back by Frenkie de Jong after Messi had met his long run into the area with a precise lob from distance.
The 18-year-old Pedri then turned playmaker when he used a no-look pass by rolling the ball backwards to set up Messi in the 38th.
Messi made it 3-1 in the 62nd by firing a pass from Antoine Griezmann off the underside of the bar and into the net.
Messi, who also hit the woodwork twice, tarnished his otherwise brilliant game when his poor pass was picked off by Bilbao near the area, allowing Muniain to score.
Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman praised his team and credited the strong play of Pedri and De Jong in midfield.