Barcelona limp out of San Sebastian with invaluable win over Real Sociedad

Real Sociedad 0-1 Barcelona

After defeat against Cadiz on Monday night, Xavi Hernandez asked for more faith and competitive edge from his side in the coming games. Barcelona might not have met their demand to play well, but they did show plenty of fight for these three points.

Although the eventual image of this match would be Barcelona’s suffering, the match started off well for the Catalans. Finding their way through early pressure, Ousmane Dembele hit the post before Gavi, Ferran Torres and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang combined for a well-worked goal after 12 minutes.

Without dominating the ball, Barcelona continued to threaten and went close through Frenkie de Jong, Torres and Dembele again, but couldn’t find the net. It would have been a satisfying half for Xavi had Barcelona not conceded a golden chance to Alexander Isak. Interchanging with Alexander Sorloth, the two sliced through the defence and the Swede should have scored.

That was when the real problems began. Just two minutes after the half, Sorloth stole in behind the back of the Barcelona defence but couldn’t turn in a cross at the back post. In the following quarter of an hour all four of Barcelona’s backline went down with injury, as their ageing legs creaked under the pressure. Only Jordi Alba would survive to the end.

Survive was the word. La Real monopolised the ball and were it not for two excellent saves from Marc-Andre ter Stegen, the Txuri-Urdin might have got their just rewards.

As that spell of pressure failed to bring a goal though, it was only natural that it would dissipate to a degree. Barcelona were uncomfortable at all times in the second half but through the constant scurrying of Gavi and Frenkie de Jong, managed to relieve the pressure just enough to get through to the final stages of the match with a measure of balance.

Ten minutes of added time were given but La Real couldn’t cause that sense of jeopardy again. The missed chances already made the match feel like a missed opportunity before it was finished. The home side played more of the football and could have scored plenty on another night, but ultimately were punished by their inefficacy in front of goal.

La Real will see no justice in the 8 point gap between the two, but Barcelona go into Sunday’s game with Rayo Vallecano in second place once again. Many flaws were on show for Barcelona, but to their credit the one thing they didn’t lack was grit. And that’s what Xavi asked for.

Tags Barcelona La Liga Real Sociedad
La Liga - Club News