Barcelona lost ground on arch rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish title race after a deserved loss at Real Sociedad.

Needing victory to move level with Real, who won earlier in the day, Barca trailed when Alex Song headed into his own goal shortly after the half hour.

The visitors levelled within four minutes as Lionel Messi fired a precise 18-yard shot into the bottom corner.

Antoine Griezmann slid Sociedad ahead again after the break before turning provider for David Zurutuza to prod in.

It was a disappointing display by defending champions Barca, who started the weekend on top of La Liga with a superior goal difference over Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

Real Sociedad 3-1 Barcelona

But Real moved three points clear after a 3-0 home win against Elche earlier on Saturday which left the Catalans playing catch up.

Barcelona rested a host of key players following Tuesday's Champions League win at Manchester City, but the move did not pay off as Gerardo Martino's men produced a sloppy display which lacked fluency and any genuine attacking threat.

After a first-half display where his team dominated possession without creating the better opportunities, Martino's frustration boiled over at the interval and he was ordered to watch the second half from the stands by referee David Fernandez.

Barcelona's bogey team

Barcelona's defeat means they have not beaten Real Sociedad in San Sebastian in their last five attempts. The Catalans' last win there came in 2006-07, when goals from Andres Iniesta and Samuel Eto'o earned them a 2-0 win.

His side had gone behind when Cameroon midfielder Song, under pressure from Sociedad midfielder Gorka Elustondo, sent Sergio Canales's pinpoint right-wing cross flying past Barca keeper Victor Valdes.

The visitors were quickly level when Argentine superstar Messi deftly controlled a square pass before smashing his 25th goal of the season past home keeper Claudio Bravo.

But they were fortunate not to already be further behind after former Arsenal striker Carlos Vela missed a host of chances for the Basque side.

If Martino was already unhappy, then his mood further darkened as Sociedad took control in the space of five minutes before the hour mark.

Real Sociedad 3-1 Barcelona

After a high tempo start to the second half, the hosts deservedly regained the lead when Vela pounced on a stray header before squaring to Griezmann for his 15th goal of the season.

The France Under-21 winger then picked out Zurutuza, who was allowed a free run into the Barca area from deep before bravely poking past the onrushing Valdes.

Barca rarely threatened to produce a dramatic fightback as Sociedad, who have not been beaten in the Catalans' last five visits to San Sebastian, moved up to fifth.

Atletico could also move three points clear of Barca, with 13 games remaining, if they manage to beat Osasuna on Sunday.

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (5)

Real Sociedad

  • 01 Bravo
  • 31 Zaldúa
  • 20 José Ángel Booked
  • 04 Elustondo (Rubén Pardo - 92' )
  • 03 González
  • 06 Iñigo Martínez
  • 17 Zurutuza
  • 05 Bergara
  • 11 Vela
  • 16 Canales Booked (Ansotegi - 84' )
  • 07 Griezmann (Xabi Prieto - 74' )

Substitutes

  • 02 Martínez
  • 08 Seferovic
  • 10 Xabi Prieto
  • 13 Zubikarai
  • 14 Rubén Pardo
  • 15 Ansotegi
  • 23 Javi Ros

Barcelona

  • 01 Valdés
  • 02 Montoya (Sánchez - 73' )
  • 21 Adriano
  • 17 Song (Fábregas - 61' )
  • 15 Bartra Booked
  • 03 Piqué Booked
  • 16 Busquets Booked
  • 08 Iniesta
  • 10 Messi
  • 07 Pedro
  • 11 Neymar

Substitutes

  • 04 Fábregas
  • 06 Xavi
  • 09 Sánchez
  • 13 Pinto Colorado
  • 14 Mascherano
  • 20 Tello
  • 22 Dani Alves
Ref: David Fernández Borbalán
Att: 30,485

Match Stats

Shots

15 12

On target

3 3

Corners

2 13

Fouls

13 15

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Real Sociedad 3, Barcelona 1.

90:00 +3:06 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Real Sociedad 3, Barcelona 1.

90:00 +2:07

Attempt missed. Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

90:00 +1:38 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Sociedad. Rubén Pardo replaces Gorka Elustondo.

90:00 +0:14

Attempt missed. Neymar (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Pedro.

88:27

Offside, Barcelona. Lionel Messi tries a through ball, but Pedro is caught offside.

88:26

Attempt blocked. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

88:08

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Mikel González.

88:06

Attempt blocked. Neymar (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Francesc Fábregas.

86:31

Marc Bartra (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

86:31

Foul by Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad).

85:09

Foul by Gerard Piqué (Barcelona).

85:09

Xabi Prieto (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

83:55 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Sociedad. Ion Ansotegi replaces Sergio Canales.

80:44

Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

80:44

Dangerous play by Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad).

80:26

Attempt blocked. Sergio Canales (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Xabi Prieto.

80:22

Attempt blocked. Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

80:12

Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Xabi Prieto.

78:35

Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

78:35

Foul by Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad).

78:02

Foul by Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona).

78:02

Zaldúa (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

76:44

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Zaldúa.

75:43

Neymar (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

75:43

Foul by Zaldúa (Real Sociedad).

74:36

Foul by Adriano (Barcelona).

74:36

Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

73:37 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Sociedad. Xabi Prieto replaces Antoine Griezmann.

72:59 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Barcelona. Alexis Sánchez replaces Martín Montoya.

72:35

Hand ball by Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona).

72:10

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Zaldúa.

70:45

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Zaldúa.

70:22

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by David Zurutuza.

70:20

Attempt blocked. Martín Montoya (Barcelona) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Francesc Fábregas.

69:44

Attempt blocked. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Neymar.

68:10 Booking

Booking Sergio Canales (Real Sociedad) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

67:54

Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

67:54

Foul by Sergio Canales (Real Sociedad).

67:49

Pedro (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

67:49

Foul by David Zurutuza (Real Sociedad).

63:31

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Zaldúa.

63:29

Attempt blocked. Adriano (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Andrés Iniesta.

63:01

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Zaldúa.

60:55

Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

60:55

Foul by Sergio Canales (Real Sociedad).

60:39 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Barcelona. Francesc Fábregas replaces Alexandre Song.

60:15

Foul by Neymar (Barcelona).

60:15

Zaldúa (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:04 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Real Sociedad 3, Barcelona 1. David Zurutuza (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Antoine Griezmann with a cross.

56:16

Attempt missed. David Zurutuza (Real Sociedad) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Gorka Elustondo with a cross following a fast break.

55:35

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Claudio Bravo.

55:34

Attempt saved. Alexandre Song (Barcelona) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Neymar with a cross.

55:10

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Gorka Elustondo.

53:27 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Real Sociedad 2, Barcelona 1. Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Carlos Vela.

52:27

Pedro (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

52:27

Foul by Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad).

52:03

Attempt missed. Mikel González (Real Sociedad) header from very close range is just a bit too high. Assisted by Sergio Canales with a cross following a set piece situation.

51:28 Booking

Booking Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

51:22

Foul by Gerard Piqué (Barcelona).

51:22

Zaldúa (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick on the right wing.

50:43

Attempt saved. Marc Bartra (Barcelona) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Neymar with a cross.

50:17

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by José Ángel.

47:30

Foul by Neymar (Barcelona).

47:30

Zaldúa (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

47:02

Attempt missed. Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad) header from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Sergio Canales with a cross following a corner.

46:26

Corner, Real Sociedad. Conceded by Alexandre Song.

46:23

Attempt blocked. Sergio Canales (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Antoine Griezmann.

45:00

Second Half begins Real Sociedad 1, Barcelona 1.

45:00 +0:04 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Real Sociedad 1, Barcelona 1.

44:06

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Mikel González.

44:04

Attempt blocked. Adriano (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Andrés Iniesta.

43:41

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Zaldúa.

41:01

Attempt missed. Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

39:39

Attempt missed. Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

38:29 Booking

Booking Marc Bartra (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

38:24

Foul by Marc Bartra (Barcelona).

38:24

Sergio Canales (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick on the left wing.

37:12

Foul by Neymar (Barcelona).

37:12

Zaldúa (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

36:39

Attempt missed. Mikel González (Real Sociedad) header from the centre of the box is too high following a set piece situation.

36:22

Foul by Sergio Busquets (Barcelona).

36:22

Markel Bergara (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

35:14 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Real Sociedad 1, Barcelona 1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Martín Montoya.

33:53

Foul by Neymar (Barcelona).

33:53

Zaldúa (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:44 Goal scored

Goal! Own Goal by Alexandre Song, Barcelona. Real Sociedad 1, Barcelona 0.

31:21

Corner, Real Sociedad. Conceded by Alexandre Song.

30:38

Offside, Barcelona. Andrés Iniesta tries a through ball, but Lionel Messi is caught offside.

30:16

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Zaldúa.

29:28

Pedro (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

29:28

Foul by Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad).

29:22

Attempt missed. Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from long range on the right is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Sergio Canales.

28:15

Attempt missed. Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by David Zurutuza.

27:18

Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

27:18

Foul by Sergio Canales (Real Sociedad).

22:20 Booking

Booking José Ángel (Real Sociedad) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

22:14

Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

22:14

Foul by José Ángel (Real Sociedad).

21:13 Booking

Booking Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

21:00

Foul by Sergio Busquets (Barcelona).

21:00

David Zurutuza (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick on the left wing.

18:28

Attempt missed. Pedro (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Andrés Iniesta.

10:35

Foul by Marc Bartra (Barcelona).

10:35

David Zurutuza (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

10:15

Foul by Martín Montoya (Barcelona).

10:15

David Zurutuza (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:18

Martín Montoya (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:18

Foul by David Zurutuza (Real Sociedad).

4:16

Attempt saved. Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

3:22

Foul by Gerard Piqué (Barcelona).

3:22

Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

2:14

Martín Montoya (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the right wing.

2:14

Foul by Sergio Canales (Real Sociedad).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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