Spanish La Liga
Real SociedadReal Sociedad1BarcelonaBarcelona0
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi was out of sorts as he failed to reach 500 goals for club and country

Barcelona continued their poor form at Real Sociedad as they suffered a shock loss to blow open La Liga title race.

After Atletico and Real Madrid both won earlier on Saturday, Barca now hold a three-point lead over second-placed Atletico with six games remaining.

They have collected only one point of a possible nine and were soundly beaten by Sociedad, who went ahead through Mikel Oyarzabal's early header.

The hosts defended superbly with Lionel Messi wasting a hat-trick of chances.

Arda Turan was also foiled by brilliant Sociedad goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli as they hung on against a Barca team missing the suspended top scorer Luis Suarez.

The result means that Barca have lost five and drawn one of their last five visits to the San Sebastian side. Their last win there was in 2007.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi was well shackled by the Soceidad defence

Messi out of sorts as lean spell continues

With Luis Suarez banned, Messi was left with added responsibility to prise open the Sociedad defence but he could not find the telling blow which would have taken him to 500 goals for club and country.

After smashing over in the first half and then seeing Rulli save his close-range header and a right-footed toe poke, Messi has now failed to score in 362 minutes in all competitions, his leanest spell since 2011.

But Barcelona, who made four unenforced changes to the team that beat Atletico in the Champions League last Tuesday, were lacklustre all over the pitch.

Following their El Clasico defeat last Saturday, Luis Enrique's side were pressed emphatically during the first half by Sociedad, who are coached by former Barcelona B boss Eusebio.

And although the hosts tired in the second half as Andres Iniesta, Jordi Alba and Ivan Rakitic were all introduced, they defended in numbers on the edge of the box to keep out the defending champions.

Luis Enrique made four unenforced changes to the Barca team
Luis Enrique made four unenforced changes to the Barca team

What next for Barca?

Barcelona now travel face Atletico Madrid in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday but with an away goal against them after winning 2-1 at the Nou Camp.

They then face six games to win the title. Three of those games are at home - against Valencia, Sporting Gijon and Espanyol, while the away games are at Real Betis, Deportivo La Coruna, Granada.

Line-ups

Real Sociedad

  • 1Rulli
  • 30ElustondoSubstituted forZaldúa Bengoecheaat 76'minutes
  • 3González
  • 23Reyes
  • 24De la Bella
  • 4IllarramendiBooked at 25mins
  • 8Granero
  • 17ZurutuzaSubstituted forPardo Gutiérrezat 80'minutes
  • 10Prieto Argarate
  • 11Vela
  • 28OyarzabalSubstituted forHernández Ortegaat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Na Bangna
  • 14Pardo Gutiérrez
  • 20Zaldúa Bengoechea
  • 21Hernández Ortega
  • 22Cristian de Jesus
  • 29Zubeldia
  • 31Bardaji

Barcelona

  • 13Bravo
  • 6Alves da Silva
  • 3PiquéBooked at 90mins
  • 14MascheranoBooked at 68mins
  • 20Roberto CarnicerSubstituted forRakiticat 71'minutes
  • 7TuranBooked at 43minsSubstituted forAlbaat 59'minutes
  • 5Busquets
  • 12RafinhaSubstituted forIniestaat 45'minutes
  • 10Messi
  • 17El Haddadi
  • 11Neymar

Substitutes

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 4Rakitic
  • 8Iniesta
  • 15Bartra
  • 18Alba
  • 21Correia
  • 23Vermaelen
Referee:
Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva
Attendance:
27,484

Match Stats

Home TeamReal SociedadAway TeamBarcelona
Possession
Home26%
Away74%
Shots
Home5
Away13
Shots on Target
Home1
Away6
Corners
Home5
Away9
Fouls
Home14
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Real Sociedad 1, Barcelona 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Real Sociedad 1, Barcelona 0.

  3. Booking

    Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card.

  4. Post update

    Gerard Piqué (Barcelona).

  5. Post update

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

  6. Post update

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

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordi Alba.

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

    Corner, Real Sociedad. Conceded by Javier Mascherano.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Xabi Prieto.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Real Sociedad. Héctor replaces Mikel Oyarzabal.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Dani Alves.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Real Sociedad. Conceded by Andrés Iniesta.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Real Sociedad. Conceded by Gerard Piqué.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Real Sociedad. Rubén Pardo replaces David Zurutuza.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ivan Rakitic.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Real Sociedad. Zaldúa replaces Aritz Elustondo.

  19. Post update

    Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by David Zurutuza (Real Sociedad).

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