Spanish La Liga
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Barcelona 2-1 Real Sociedad: Catalans go nine points clear thanks to Alba strike

By Saj ChowdhuryBBC Sport
Clement Lenglet scores for Barcelona
Barcelona have scored more goals from set-pieces than any other side in La Liga this season (22 goals)

Jordi Alba once again showed his potency in attack by scoring the winner against Real Sociedad as Barcelona closed in on the La Liga title.

The Spanish full-back found the net with a brilliant low strike only two minutes after Juanmi had equalised for the visitors.

Clement Lenglet, another Barcelona defender, gave Barca a first-half lead with his header from a corner.

Sociedad's Gero Rulli made an excellent one-handed save to deny Luis Suarez.

Victory meant Barcelona re-established their nine-point lead which was temporarily reduced when second-placed Atletico Madrid defeated Eibar 1-0 earlier on Saturday.

Coach Ernesto Valverde's team now only need six points from their remaining five games to retain the La Liga crown.

It certainly was not vintage Barcelona as, time and time again, they looked susceptible to any ball played between their centre-backs - any repeat display against Champions League semi-final opponents Liverpool will likely be severely punished.

One of those Sociedad through-balls should have resulted in the opening goal on Saturday. Ruben Pardo, who was excellent throughout, played a delightful dinked pass into the area for Juanmi whose shot was saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen before Willian Jose, inexplicably, fired over from about six yards.

That spurred Barca into action. Suarez first forced Rulli into making a brilliant stop, but moments later the Sociedad keeper had little chance of keeping out Lenglet's header which was powered in from an Ousmane Dembele corner.

Sociedad were level shortly after the hour mark. Former Newcastle midfielder Mikel Merino, who revelled in his 'quarterback' role, fed a great pass through to ex-Southampton striker Juanmi, who poked in.

The visitors' celebrations were short-lived though as Alba, who cut in from the left, launched a crisp low drive which flew beyond the reach of Rulli. The Barca player has now been involved in more goals than any other La Liga defender in this season (two goals and eight assists).

La Liga table showing Barcelona with a nine point lead



Formation 4-3-3

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 2Nélson Semedo
  • 3Piqué
  • 15Lenglet
  • 18Alba
  • 22VidalSubstituted forRobertoat 90'minutes
  • 4Rakitic
  • 8ArthurSubstituted forBusquetsat 56'minutes
  • 10Messi
  • 9Suárez
  • 11DembéléSubstituted forCoutinhoat 72'minutes


  • 5Busquets
  • 7Coutinho
  • 13Cillessen
  • 14Malcom
  • 20Roberto
  • 21Aleñá
  • 23Umtiti

Real Sociedad

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Rulli
  • 2Zaldua
  • 15Elustondo
  • 3LlorenteSubstituted forBarrenetxeaat 87'minutes
  • 29Muñoz
  • 8MerinoBooked at 15mins
  • 5ZubeldiaSubstituted forSangalliat 54'minutes
  • 14Pardo
  • 10Oyarzabal
  • 12Da Silva
  • 7JuanmiSubstituted forRamírezat 87'minutes


  • 13Moyá
  • 18Gorosabel
  • 21Bautista
  • 22Navas
  • 23Sangalli
  • 24Ramírez
  • 34Barrenetxea
Pablo González Fuertes

Match Stats

Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamReal Sociedad
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Barcelona 2, Real Sociedad 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Barcelona 2, Real Sociedad 1.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. Sergi Roberto replaces Arturo Vidal.

  4. Post update

    Offside, Barcelona. Arturo Vidal tries a through ball, but Coutinho is caught offside.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Arturo Vidal (Barcelona) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Coutinho with a cross following a corner.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Rubén Pardo.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Coutinho (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordi Alba.

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

    Foul by Willian José (Real Sociedad).

  10. Post update

    Hand ball by Arturo Vidal (Barcelona).

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Real Sociedad. Ander Barrenetxea replaces Diego Llorente because of an injury.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Real Sociedad. Sandro Ramírez replaces Juanmi.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Real Sociedad. Conceded by Jordi Alba.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Willian José.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Arturo Vidal (Barcelona) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is too high following a set piece situation.

  16. Post update

    Nélson Semedo (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Aihen Muñoz (Real Sociedad).

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Luis Suárez.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Luca Sangalli (Real Sociedad) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Rubén Pardo.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. Coutinho replaces Ousmane Dembélé.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 20th April 2019

As It Stood

2Atl Madrid33208548212768
3Real Madrid32194956381861
7Ath Bilbao32111383637-146
9Real Betis32127133843-543
10Real Sociedad331011123941-241
14Celta Vigo3398164756-935
18Real Valladolid33711152847-1932
19Rayo Vallecano3377193657-2128
View full Spanish La Liga table

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