SEVEN UP FOR MAGNIFICENT BARCA
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
BARCELONA handed out a footballing lesson to Athletic Bilbao in the Camp Nou on Saturday by thrashing the hapless Basque side 7-0.
A magnificent exhibition of attacking play by Barca saw them hammer six goals in an exhilarating first 45 minutes leaving Bilbao players, fans and coach Txetxu Rojo gobsmacked.
A Luis Enrique hat-trick, Philip Cocu brace where added to by a goal from Abelardo to send a stunned Bilbao in 6-0 down at half time.
A much-subdued second half saw only a Marc Overmars effort add to the scoreline as Barca settled for what they had.
Luis Enrique began the route after just six minutes when Overmars was sent down the left by Cocu and he crossed for Enrique to calmly finish passed Bilbao goalkeeper Inaki Lafuente.
The young Lafuente could then only watch helplessly as Barca thrashed four goals in eight minutes into his net.
Enrique's second on 23 minutes was followed by Cocu's first of the game two minutes later after a neat one-two with Kluivert.
Abelardo then made it 4-0 after half an hour by grabbing a surprise goal from a classy flick by fellow centre half Frank de Boer.
Enrique completed his hat-trick a minute later from a cross from the always dangerous Overmars.
Cocu got his second, and Barca's sixth, on the stroke of half time when he broke the offside trap and slotted the ball through the keeper's legs.
The first half display was always going to be hard to live up to and only Overmars could break through an improved Bilbao defence with a fine shot following a good solo run.
Barca are still five points behind Real Madrid despite the result but put in a performance send a warning to warn every team in Spain.