Barcelona defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to open up a 9-point gap at the top of the La Liga table on Sunday evening.
Brazil winger Raphinha opened the scoring in the extra time of the first half, but his effort was ruled out for offside. After VAR review, the goal was given, and Barcelona held the advantage going into the halftime break.
In the second half, Bilbao created more chances, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen stood firm to deny Inaki Williams’ attempt. In the 87th minute, Inaki Williams thought he had leveled the score, but after VAR review, the goal was ruled out for a handball in the buildup to the goal. In extra time, Jules Kounde also blocked Oier Zarraga’s attempt as Barca held onto its lead.
As a result, Xavi’s team increased their lead over rival Real Madrid, who had temporarily cut Barca’s lead to six points following Saturday’s victory over Espanyol. Barcelona will host Real Madrid on Sunday at Camp Nou in what could be the title-deciding game.