Barcelona beat Real Sociedad to edge closer to LaLiga title

Barcelona beat Real Sociedad to edge closer to LaLiga title

Barcelona moved another step closer to retaining their LaLiga title with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Real Sociedad.

Barca were far from their best and relied on goals from the unlikely duo of Clement Lenglet and Jordi Alba to see off a battling Sociedad side who briefly levelled through Juanmi but had chances to take far more from the game.

The win keeps Barca’s lead at nine points with five games to go after Atletico Madrid’s 1-0 win at Eibar earlier in the day.

Barca were slow to get going against a Sociedad side who defended impressively, with the only chances in the opening half an hour two Lionel Messi free-kicks – the first straight into the wall and the second narrowly over the bar.

Instead it was the visitors who fashioned the first clear opening when Ruben Pardo lifted a ball over the top which Juanmi perfectly chested down before shooting straight at the advancing Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

The ball fell for Willian Jose but he could only poke over on the stretch.

That stirred Barca into action. Aritz Elustondo had to make a vital intervention to keep Jordi Alba’s low cross from Luis Suarez.

After Messi turned this way and that in a crowded area, Barca shuffled the ball over to Suarez whose first-time shot was well saved by Geronimo Rulli.

The breakthrough came with the last action of the first half when Lenglet got across his man on a corner to head in his first LaLiga goal.

Sociedad started the second half on top, with Mikel Oyarzabal and Jose threatening with headers before Pardo’s deflected shot was touched wide by Ter Stegen.

The Barca keeper had to scramble the ball away after a mix-up with Alba almost gifted the ball to Sociedad.

After Ousmane Dembele fired narrowly wide at the other end, Sociedad got a deserved equaliser in the 62nd minute. Mikel Merino’s superb pass split the Barca defence and the on-rushing Juanmi hooked the ball beyond Ter Stegen.

Parity lasted just two minutes, however, as Alba cut in from the left, switched the ball to his right foot and arrowed a shot beyond the reach of the Sociedad goalkeeper.

Ivan Rakitic should have wrapped it up with 11 minutes to go. Played in by Suarez, he broke into the box on the left side but fired into the side-netting as the angle tightened.

Arturo Vidal went close three minutes later but could not keep the ball down when it was flicked on to him at the far post after a Messi free-kick.

Ultimately Barca would not need a third as they got back to winning ways in LaLiga after last week’s surprise goalless draw with Huesca.

- Press Association

More in this Section

Robbie Henshaw's World Cup is NOT over, but he is not expected to face ScotlandRobbie Henshaw's World Cup is NOT over, but he is not expected to face Scotland

Antonio Brown scores on New England Patriots debut overshadowed by rape accusationAntonio Brown scores on New England Patriots debut overshadowed by rape accusation

Football rumours from the mediaFootball rumours from the media

The scary bit is that the champs are far from finishedThe scary bit is that the champs are far from finished


Lifestyle

I’m giggling but also it is tinged with tension. I peep out from behind the large sycamore. They are three trees away.Opening Lines: I’m just a bearded wheezing giggly man on the ground

I did my Leaving Cert in June and have just started college this week, so my school experience is extremely fresh in my memory. I went to Davis College in Mallow and it was a fantastic experience. I was the loud obnoxious child at the back of the classroom from day one. I had to (and still do, by the way) have an opinion on everything.Stand up and be counted : The Young Offender's Demi Isaac Oviawe on college and school life

When I was in secondary school I started working part-time as a waitress and I suppose I caught the hospitality bug back then.You've been served: General manager at Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa Caitriona O’Keeffe

That an American study has found straight women prefer dad bods (“an untoned and slightly plump male physique, especially one that is considered attractive”) to six packs and hard shiny abs comes as no great surprise.Outside the Box: Tone down guys, us girls don’t mind moobs

More From The Irish Examiner