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Ivan Rakitic delighted to prove Barcelona matchwinner

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic was delighted to prove the matchwinner for victory over Athletic Bilbao.

The Croatian netted his first goal of the campaign.

"We struggled a lot to get into the game, it wasn't easy," Rakitic said afterwards. "But I was very happy to score my first goal of the season.

"I want to dedicate my goal to my wife and my daughters who have put up with me so much in the last few months.

"It's very strange that I've taken so long to score.

"I'm annoyed with myself, although I'm happy to have helped the team."

Rakitic's goal means Barcelona move three points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the table, at least temporarily.

"It's very difficult to win LaLiga, that's why we say it's the best league in the world," he said.

"There are very even and tough games.

"It doesn't help that the stadiums are empty.

"We have to work together and prepare ourselves well.

"[Real Madrid] are joint favourites with us.

"We're going to fight until the end.

"They're concentrating on themselves and we're concentrating on ourselves.

"We want to give our best in every game."

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