Barcelona may have to go to El Clásico next Wednesday in second place in La Liga thanks to a 2-2 draw with Real Sociedad at Anoeta on Saturday, provided Real Madrid beat Valencia this weekend. Barça made a bad start, recovered, took the lead, missed a couple of big chances and eventually conceded the equalizer in a highly entertaining game.
Sociedad always attack and press and score early regardless of who they face, and that’s exactly what happened here as the home team suffocated Barça in the first 10 minutes until they got a chance to score. They got it when Sergio Busquets was caught pulling Diego Llorente in the box, and Mikel Oyarzabal scored from the penalty spot to give La Real the lead.
It took a while for Barça to recover from the early blitz and they still allowed a couple of big chances to Sociedad, but slowly the visitors began to grow into the game by absorbing pressure and hitting the opponent on the counter, and seven minutes before halftime they got a big equalizer thanks to a beautiful goal by Antoine Griezmann against his former club.
At halftime Barça still needed to play better, but it felt like they’d weathered the storm and were ready to attack more in the final period.
Barça made the perfect start to the second half: just four minutes in, Busquets played a brilliant pass to find Lionel Messi all alone in front of goal, but the captain decided to give Luis Suárez an easy tap-in and the Blaugrana took the lead.
Right after scoring Barça had two huge chances to increase the lead: first it was Griezmann who found himself in front of goal but had his shot saved by Remiro, then Gerard Piqué won a header from a corner but had a certain goal cleared off the line.
The third goal didn’t come to pretty much kill the game, and Barça paid for it: Ter Stegen made a rare mistake trying to stop a cross into the box, and Alexander Isak scored the equalizer.
The final minutes were dominated by Sociedad who had a couple of good chances but couldn’t score, and Barça had a huge penalty shout denied in the last minute. The final whistle eventually came, and this feels more like a loss than a positive result at Anoeta.
Real Sociedad: Remiro; Zaldúa, Zubeldia, Llorente, Monreal; Odegaard, Guevara, Merino; Portu (Januzaj 59’), Isak (Willian José 65’), Oyarzabal (Barrenetxea 84’)
Goals: Oyarzabal (pen 12’), Isak (62’)
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba (Semedo 73’); Rakitic (Vidal 78’), Busquets (Aleñá 73’), De Jong; Messi, Suárez, Griezmann
Goals: Griezmann (38’), Suárez (49’)