Spanish La Liga
Barcelona2Real Sociedad1

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

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

Line-ups

Barcelona

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

Substitutes

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

Real Sociedad

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

Substitutes

  • 13Moyá
  • 18Gorosabel
  • 21Bautista
  • 22Navas
  • 23Sangalli
  • 24Ramírez
  • 34Barrenetxea
Referee:
Pablo González Fuertes
Attendance:
75,470

Match Stats

Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamReal Sociedad
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home11
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away2
Fouls
Home11
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Barcelona 2, Real Sociedad 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Barcelona 2, Real Sociedad 1.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Sergi Roberto replaces Arturo Vidal.

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

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.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Rubén Pardo.

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

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

Foul by Willian José (Real Sociedad).

Hand ball by Arturo Vidal (Barcelona).

Substitution

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

Substitution

Substitution, Real Sociedad. Sandro Ramírez replaces Juanmi.

Corner, Real Sociedad. Conceded by Jordi Alba.

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

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.

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

Foul by Aihen Muñoz (Real Sociedad).

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.

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

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Coutinho replaces Ousmane Dembélé.

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

Foul by Luca Sangalli (Real Sociedad).

Offside, Barcelona. Ivan Rakitic tries a through ball, but Luis Suárez is caught offside.

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 2, Real Sociedad 1. Jordi Alba (Barcelona) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 1, Real Sociedad 1. Juanmi (Real Sociedad) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Mikel Merino with a through ball.

Foul by Nélson Semedo (Barcelona).

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

Hand ball by Juanmi (Real Sociedad).

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

Attempt missed. Ousmane Dembélé (Barcelona) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Arturo Vidal.

Foul by Ousmane Dembélé (Barcelona).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Sergio Busquets replaces Arthur.

Attempt missed. Luca Sangalli (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a corner.

Corner, Real Sociedad. Conceded by Arthur.

Substitution

Substitution, Real Sociedad. Luca Sangalli replaces Igor Zubeldia because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Igor Zubeldia (Real Sociedad) because of an injury.

Attempt blocked. Rubén Pardo (Real Sociedad) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Mikel Merino.

Foul by Ousmane Dembélé (Barcelona).

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 20th April 2019

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Barcelona33238283325177
2Atl Madrid33208548212768
3Real Madrid32194956381861
4Sevilla321571054391552
5Getafe321312740291151
6Valencia32111653627949
7Ath Bilbao32111383637-146
8Alavés331210113542-746
9Real Betis32127133843-543
10Real Sociedad331011123941-241
11Leganés321011113236-441
12Espanyol32118133746-941
13Eibar33913114245-340
14Celta Vigo3398164756-935
15Girona33810153446-1234
16Villarreal32712134045-533
17Levante3289154559-1433
18Real Valladolid33711152847-1932
19Rayo Vallecano3377193657-2128
20Huesca33511173555-2026
View full Spanish La Liga table

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