Spanish La Liga
Real SociedadReal Sociedad1BarcelonaBarcelona0

Real Sociedad 1-0 Barcelona

By Pete OliverBBC Sport
Luis Suarez and David Moyes
Luis Suarez congratulated David Moyes, a former rival of the Liverpool striker with both Everton and Manchester United

David Moyes's Real Sociedad stopped Barcelona going top of La Liga thanks to an early own goal from Jordi Alba.

Real Madrid's 2-1 defeat at Valencia earlier in the day would have allowed the Catalans to edge ahead in the title race if they had won.

But coach Luis Enrique started with Lionel Messi, Neymar and Dani Alves on the bench following the festive break.

And they were unable to inspire a fightback as Moyes secured a memorable second win as Sociedad manager.

Messi, Neymar and Alves only returned to training last Friday after an extended break in South America during the league's Christmas shutdown.

Enrique took the gamble of starting without them for a fixture that has proved tricky for Barcelona in the past.

And so it proved again with their winless run at Anoeta now extended to six games.

Barcelona bench
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique started with a number of his big names on the bench

In Moyes's previous two home La Liga games, former Arsenal striker Carlos Vela had struck in the opening five minutes.

And while there was to be no repeat for Vela, Sociedad were still ahead after just two minutes as Alba headed a cross from Sergio Canales past his own keeper.

For a team which had already beaten Real Madrid and defending champions Atletico Madrid in San Sebastian this season, it was the perfect start.

Sociedad have been difficult to beat under Moyes, with just two losses in their previous seven matches since the former Manchester United and Everton boss took over in November, and they clung tenaciously to their lead.

They were helped by an insipid first-half performance from Barcelona, who rarely threatened an equaliser.

Sociedad went closest to a second goal when Canales turned sharply and tested former Socieded keeper Claudio Bravo at his near post.

Not surprisingly, Enrique sent on Messi at the start of the second half and waited just a further 12 minutes to introduce Neymar to try and spark an improvement.

Barcelona increasingly dominated possession and began to camp around the Sociedad penalty area.

But with a wall of blue and white shirts to pass, they could not turn their pressure into any meaningful chances.

Sociedad defended superbly with goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli making his one real save four minutes from time when dashing out to save at the feet of Luis Suarez as Moyes's side held on to move up to 13th in the table - five points above the drop zone.

Barcelona's next La Liga game is against champions Atletico Madrid next Sunday.

Real Sociedad celebrations
Real Sociedad secured their second and most important win under David Moyes
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi came off the bench at the start of the second half but was unable to add to his 23 goals this season
David Moyes
Moyes inspired his side to a magnificent defensive performance
Andres Iniesta
Barcelona failed to win a trophy last season and missed out on top spot in La Liga


Real Sociedad

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Rulli
  • 2Martínez
  • 15Ansotegi
  • 6Martínez BerridiBooked at 43mins
  • 24De la Bella
  • 5BergaraBooked at 90mins
  • 8GraneroBooked at 51mins
  • 10Prieto Argarate
  • 16CanalesSubstituted forBerchiche Izetaat 90+3'minutes
  • 18CastroSubstituted forFinnbogasonat 66'minutesBooked at 89mins
  • 11VelaBooked at 39minsSubstituted forPardo Gutiérrezat 90'minutes


  • 7Finnbogason
  • 13Zubikarai
  • 14Pardo Gutiérrez
  • 19Berchiche Izeta
  • 23Gaztañaga Arrospide
  • 29Hervías
  • 34Elustondo


Formation 4-3-3

  • 13Bravo
  • 2Montoya
  • 14Mascherano
  • 24MathieuBooked at 34minsSubstituted forAlves da Silvaat 70'minutesBooked at 76mins
  • 18AlbaBooked at 89mins
  • 6Hernández
  • 5Busquets
  • 8Iniesta
  • 31El HaddadiSubstituted forMessiat 45'minutes
  • 9Suárez
  • 7PedroSubstituted forNeymarat 58'minutesBooked at 90mins


  • 1ter Stegen
  • 3Piqué
  • 4Rakitic
  • 10Messi
  • 11Neymar
  • 12Rafinha
  • 22Alves da Silva
Carlos del Cerro Grande

Match Stats

Home TeamReal SociedadAway TeamBarcelona
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Real Sociedad 1, Barcelona 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Real Sociedad 1, Barcelona 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Dani Alves (Barcelona).

  4. Post update

    Esteban Granero (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Real Sociedad. Yuri replaces Sergio Canales.

  6. Booking

    Neymar (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Neymar (Barcelona).

  8. Post update

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

  9. Booking

    Markel Bergara (Real Sociedad) is shown the yellow card.

  10. Post update

    Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Esteban Granero (Real Sociedad).

  12. Post update

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

  13. Post update

    Foul by Xabi Prieto (Real Sociedad).

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Real Sociedad. Rubén Pardo replaces Carlos Vela.

  15. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  16. Post update

    Delay in match Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad) because of an injury.

  17. Booking

    Jordi Alba (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card.

  18. Booking

    Alfred Finnbogason (Real Sociedad) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  19. Post update

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

  20. Post update

    Foul by Alfred Finnbogason (Real Sociedad).

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 4th January 2015

Top Stories