Barcelona managed a hard-fought win against Real Sociedad in their own backyard as they got the better of their opposition by 2-1. Clement Lenglet and Jordi Alba scored the two goals for the Blaugrana as they inched closer towards defending the La Liga title.
The hosts started with their usual strategy of pressing football but were soon matched by the counter-attacking prowess of the visitors. However, Lenglet broke the deadlock with a thumping header from the corner right in the dying minutes of the first half from the corner. Sociedad came back well in the second half as former Newcastle United ace Mikel Merino’s defence-splitting pass found the back of the net via Junami’s sliding effort to glide the ball past Ter Stegen. Alba took the responsibility of getting his side over the line with a weaker-footed attempt to go past Geronimo Rulli’s outstretched hand.
Here is how the Barcelona players were rated from their win against Real Sociedad.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen: 6.5
Made several brilliant saves to keep his side in the match. Went into position a little too early to allow Juanmi to score the equalising goal though.
Nelson Semedo: 6
A solid defensive display from the right back. His forward runs were, however, not up to the mark as he could not find openings with his passing.
Gerard Pique: 7
Cleared almost every danger in the box to guarantee a win for his side. Took a few knocks in the process as well.
Clement Lenglet: 7
Gave his side the much-needed breakthrough with a great header in the first half. Looked composed in the defence as well.
Jordi Alba: 8
Was in brilliant form once again as he kept getting into spaces inside the opposition half and taking aim on the goal. Scored the winner for his side with an effort from his weaker foot.
Kept pushing for the goal since the start of the match. Opened up spaces for his teammates with his delectable passes.
Arturo Vidal: 7
Ran up and down the right-hand side of the pitch to get the ball into the danger area more than once. Vied well for the ball in the middle of the pitch.
Ivan Rakitic: 6
Looked good in the first half but lost his composure in the second half. Could have had his name on the scorecard but wasted a great ball from Suarez by shooting it into the side netting.
Ousmane Dembele: 7
A livewire on the pitch. Kept getting into the danger area from time to time with the ball but could not get a goal to his name.
Lionel Messi: 7.5
Kept tormenting the opposition defence with his sublime footwork and shooting. Unfortunate not to get a goal against his name.
Luis Suarez: 6
Made some outstanding runs into the box but looked fatigued in the second half. Threaded a great ball to set up Rakitic but he could not take advantage of it.
Sergio Busquets: 6
Did well in the defensive midfielder position after coming on for Arthur.
Philippe Coutinho: 6
Looked good in his short stay on the pitch.
Sergi Roberto: NA
Played too little to warrant a rating.