Spanish La Liga
Real SociedadReal Sociedad3BarcelonaBarcelona1

Real Sociedad 3-1 Barcelona

By Jonathan JurejkoBBC Sport
Real Sociedad v Barcelona

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.

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.

Line-ups

Real Sociedad

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Bravo
  • 31Zaldúa Bengoechea
  • 20Valdés DíazBooked at 23mins
  • 4ElustondoSubstituted forPardo Gutiérrezat 90+2'minutes
  • 3González
  • 6Martínez Berridi
  • 17Zurutuza
  • 5Bergara
  • 11Vela
  • 16CanalesBooked at 69minsSubstituted forAnsotegiat 84'minutes
  • 7GriezmannSubstituted forPrieto Argarateat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Martínez
  • 8Seferovic
  • 10Prieto Argarate
  • 13Zubikarai
  • 14Pardo Gutiérrez
  • 15Ansotegi
  • 23Ros Añón

Barcelona

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Valdés
  • 2MontoyaSubstituted forSánchezat 73'minutes
  • 21Correia
  • 17SongSubstituted forFábregasat 61'minutes
  • 15BartraBooked at 39mins
  • 3PiquéBooked at 52mins
  • 16BusquetsBooked at 22mins
  • 8Iniesta
  • 10Messi
  • 7Pedro
  • 11Neymar

Substitutes

  • 4Fábregas
  • 6Hernández
  • 9Sánchez
  • 13Pinto Colorado
  • 14Mascherano
  • 20Tello
  • 22Alves da Silva
Referee:
David Fernández Borbalán
Attendance:
30,485

Match Stats

Home TeamReal SociedadAway TeamBarcelona
Possession
Home35%
Away65%
Shots
Home15
Away12
Shots on Target
Home3
Away3
Corners
Home2
Away13
Fouls
Home13
Away15

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Real Sociedad 3, Barcelona 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Real Sociedad 3, Barcelona 1.

  3. Post update

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

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Real Sociedad. Rubén Pardo replaces Gorka Elustondo.

  5. Post update

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

  6. Post update

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

  7. Post update

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

  8. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Mikel González.

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

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

  11. Post update

    Foul by Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad).

  12. Post update

    Foul by Gerard Piqué (Barcelona).

  13. Post update

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

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Real Sociedad. Ion Ansotegi replaces Sergio Canales.

  15. Post update

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

  16. Post update

    Dangerous play by Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad).

  17. Post update

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

  18. Post update

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

  19. Post update

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

  20. Post update

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

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 22nd February 2014

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