June 24 (UPI) -- Barcelona's Lionel Messi was denied of his 700th career goal but provided a nutmeg assist in a 1-0 win against Athletic Bilbao in Spain's La Liga.
Messi's through-the-legs helper came in the 71st minute of the triumph Tuesday at Camp Nou in Barcelona.
Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao played a scoreless first half before the six-time Ballon d'Or winner led the game's lone scoring sequence. Barcelona's Arturo Vidal headed a ball from the far post back toward the middle of the box at the start of the play.
The Athletic Bilbao defense then failed to clear the ball and kicked it directly to Messi inside the box. Messi then also turned it over before he got it back. He used his first touch to slide a pass between the legs of defender Yeray Alvarez. The feed found Ivan Rakitic on the right flank.
Rakitic took one touch before he blasted a shot by Athletic Bilbao keeper Unai Simon.
Messi scored career goal No. 699 in the 69th minute of a win against Leganes June 16 at Camp Nou. Barcelona returns to action against Celta Vigo at 11 a.m. EDT Saturday in Vigo, Spain.
La Liga made its return from a three-month coronavirus suspension on June 11. Barcelona is three points ahead of Real Madrid for first place in the La Liga standings.