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La Liga: FC Barcelona 2-0 Real Sociedad: Match Review

A recap of Barcelona's narrow, yet somehow convincing 2-0 victory over Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou on Saturday evening, as goals from Neymar and Pedro could be enough to wrap up the La Liga title for the Blaugrana

David Ramos/Getty Images

Only time will tell if this victory crowns FC Barcelona as La Liga champions, but it certainly moves them one step closer to the title as the Blaugrana’s persistence against a stubborn Real Sociedad defense paid dividends with a 2-0 victory at the Camp Nou. The glorious conditions in Catalunya reflected the positive state of affairs at the club and while Barcelona couldn’t find an opener in the first-half, courtesy of some superb goalkeeping from Geronimo Rulli, their quality shone through after the interval.

A header from Neymar opened the scoring after 50 minutes and while Barça continued to put in a relatively laboured performance, it seemed as though this match was going to go down to the wire. A single Real Sociedad goal would steal them a point – but substitute Pedro wasn’t about to let that happen, wrapping up the victory with a jaw-dropping overhead kick.


Real Sociedad




Total Shots



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Yellow Cards



Red Cards



With unconfirmed reports that this match may prove to be Barça’s final fixture of the La Liga season, it came as no real surprise to see Luis Enrique name a strong starting line-up. Claudio Bravo returned in goal and while Marc Bartra, Adriano Correia, Xavi and Rafinha Alcântara all rotated into the side, the star-studded frontline remained in place up top. With Bayern Munich crashing to another defeat earlier in the afternoon, would Barcelona keep their eye on the prize, and move one step closer to the La Liga title with a victory over David Moyes and Real Sociedad?


Barcelona started the match well, immediately seizing control of possession and finding Lionel Messi and Neymar for some early touches of the ball. After decimating Bayern Munich on Wednesday, Messi looked predictably impressive right from the get-go, dribbling past a couple of Real Sociedad defenders as if they didn’t even exist, although some disciplined defending from the visitors ensured that Messi couldn’t receive a return pass from Neymar.

They couldn’t keep the Argentine quiet for long though; Real Sociedad attempted to mount some early pressure of their own but before long they were pushed back into a defensive shell. The first chance of the match followed moments later, courtesy of some smart play from Neymar to stretch the Sociedad defense and switch the play to Dani Alves. The Brazilian full-back supplied two assists in the 8-0 landslide victory over Cordoba last weekend and he was close to adding another here with a lofted cross to the edge of the area.

The intended recipient? Lionel Messi of course, and even from the edge of the area he nearly found the back of the net with a looping header that forced a fine save from Geronimo Rulli.

The Argentine shot-stopper was in fine form the last time these two sides met and he picked up exactly where he left off at the Anoeta by denying Neymar from point-blank range just minutes later. A quarter of an hour had been played at the Camp Nou, and Real Sociedad already appeared to be hanging on.

Curiously enough, it took Barça another quarter of an hour to create their next clear-cut chance of the evening and again Messi was involved. This time, our superstar striker turned creator to lift a trademark left-footed through ball over the Sociedad defense to find Gerard Piqué who had stayed forward following a corner kick. Piqué exhibited fantastic control to bring the pass down and stab a shot goalwards but again Rulli came to the rescue with a fine one-handed stop.

Minutes later, Messi set up another golden chance and really, this one should have ended up in the back of the net. The cross was sumptuous, absolutely perfect and Luis Suarez was the beneficiary, lurking at the far post with a free header. Suarez. Free header. No goal? It seemed odd, but that’s what happened as the Uruguayan missed the target completely with a rather dismal effort.

More pressure and a couple more shots followed before the break, but La Real held firm to frustrate the Blaugrana and ensure that as the two teams headed into the half-time break, the score remained level at 0-0.


Neither manager opted to make a change at the interval and as a result, the second-half immediately assumed a similar pattern to the first as Barça set about opening the scoring. This time, Marc Bartra was trying his luck on goal with a header from close range following a superb corner from Xavi, but again, Geronimo Rulli leapt across goal to make a stunning save.

Was it going to be one of those nights for the Blaugrana?

No. No it wasn’t.

Rulli was having an inspired night in goal but there was nothing he could do about Barça’s eventual opener. Lionel Messi supplied another cross and while this one wasn’t quite as perfect as his pass to Suarez earlier, it caused some panic in the Sociedad defense as Mikel Gonzalez inadvertently flicked the ball on towards the far post. And guess who was there, lying in wait to apply the finish?

Neymar, who had been threatening all game long finally got the goal his play deserved – as the Brazilian helped himself to his 22nd La Liga goal of the season and 35th overall in all competitions. It might have taken longer than initially planned, but Barça had their breakthrough.

With a one goal lead, Luis Enrique looked to his bench in a bid to turn up the heat on poor Real Sociedad, and he addressed our comparative lack of tempo by replacing Marc Bartra with Sergio Busquets. The idea was that Busquets would orchestrate the midfield, and Mascherano would drop back into his usual role in the heart of defense. Maybe it didn’t have the desired effect immediately, but as long as Real Sociedad continued to struggle offensively, it didn’t really matter at all.

The next moment of note again involved Neymar, as he chased down Geronimo Rulli in the corner flag with the latter attempting to shield a slow-moving ball out of play. Neymar’s persistence nearly paid off as he won the ball from the keeper, but Rulli quickly recovered to slide the ball out of play for a corner – which he then delayed for his fifth yellow card of the season, earning him a suspension for the next match, whenever that might be played.

Lucho then made his next change: off went Xavi, to be replaced by Andrés Iniesta in a straight-forward midfield swap and before long, Rafinha was sacrificed for Pedro in Barça’s final switch of the match. Still, our performance looked a little laboured, even if we remained in complete control. With the score at 1-0 though, our position was precarious, which is perhaps why we grabbed our second in quite spectacular fashion.

For a moment, it seemed as though we have over-elaborated in possession and Sociedad were going to clear their lines once again. Messi’s pass was blocked and the ball looped away, seemingly out of danger, until Pedro took matters into his own hands. He had no right to attempt a shot, let alone score against Rulli, but hey, Pedro’s had enough of abiding by the rules, being the nice guy. Cue a sensational chilena, wrapping up the three points and possibly the La Liga title to boot.

What a way to end the match, and maybe even the La Liga season – until next time, Visca el Barça!

Roll Call Info
Total comments 652
Total commenters 51
Commenter list A.J.Khan, Anders Thomassen, Ayush Tiwari, BarcaBarca, Barcasura, Bingiboy, BoodHernandez, Bostjan Cernensek, Catalan_Blood, Delano Heerkens, FCBMessi, KiwiBarca, Lapulga, NoImagination90, Ragnar_Lothbrok, Rajesh1101s, Renato Goncalves, Ruy Diaz, Som-i-Serem, Steven Cordero, StoichkovTheDagger, Swn.Culé, ViscaViscaBarca, Willis1984, Yuro_Doosh, Z Ahmad, ade fox, astle2997, cefiro22, craig00000, cule-since-1992, deendana, defeaning_silence, feeya7, footballfordoze, giveittomessi, henderick.mitchell, iambeedee, jithen, logicalcule, luck-ycoltsfan19, messism, nahmynameisantoine, nolet, oddsbodiSkins, pranaydhone, semperty, sg.94, shirishstha, syredeathtrooper, une see
Story URLs
# Commenter # Comments
1 Bostjan Cernensek 65
2 Lapulga 45
3 ade fox 41
4 Delano Heerkens 38
5 luck-ycoltsfan19 35
6 semperty 35
7 Yuro_Doosh 34
8 Swn.Culé 33
9 craig00000 30
10 Anders Thomassen 29
11 Bingiboy 27
12 KiwiBarca 22
13 Rajesh1101s 20
14 feeya7 19
15 defeaning_silence 18
16 oddsbodiSkins 16
17 Som-i-Serem 15
18 giveittomessi 14
19 Ruy Diaz 14
20 A.J.Khan 13
21 syredeathtrooper 8
22 Catalan_Blood 8
23 nahmynameisantoine 8
24 deendana 7
25 Steven Cordero 5
26 iambeedee 5
27 Z Ahmad 4
28 NoImagination90 4
29 Willis1984 4
30 nolet 3
31 jithen 3
32 footballfordoze 3
33 pranaydhone 3
34 StoichkovTheDagger 2
35 cefiro22 2
36 FCBMessi 2
37 BarcaBarca 2
38 une see 2
39 logicalcule 2
40 Ayush Tiwari 1
41 Ragnar_Lothbrok 1
42 BoodHernandez 1
43 shirishstha 1
44 Barcasura 1
45 cule-since-1992 1
46 messism 1
47 astle2997 1
48 ViscaViscaBarca 1
49 sg.94 1
50 Renato Goncalves 1
51 henderick.mitchell 1

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