Final Score: Real Sociedad 2-4 Barcelona
Barcelona produced a stunning comeback from being two goals down, to beat Real Sociedad 4-2, at the Anoeta on Sunday night.
Things began on an ominous note for Ernesto Valverde’s side when Willian Jose handed the home side the lead just 11 minutes into the game and the situation became dire when Juanmi doubled La Real’s lead in the 34th minute. However, the Catalans made sure that they went into the half-time with just a one-goal deficit, thanks to Paulinho’s strike in the 39th minute.
Five minutes into the second period, the Blaugrana were back on level terms, with Luis Suarez finding the back of the net. The Uruguayan then went on to double his tally twenty minutes later, completing the comeback, before Lionel Messi added a fourth late on to put the result beyond doubt.
With the win, Barcelona extend their lead at the top of the La Liga table to nine points over second-placed Atletico Madrid. Here’s how the Barcelona players fared on the night.
Barcelona Player Ratings
Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 6/10
Made one save to deny Sergio Canales, but had no chance with both Willian Jose and Juanmi’s efforts on goal.
Sergi Roberto – 7/10
Juanmi’s strike deflected off him into the back of the net for Sociedad’s second. Sluggish defensively early on, but improved with time. Was a great threat with his forward forays and played a huge role in the buildup for Suarez’s first goal after the break.
Gerard Pique – 6/10
Having looked out of sorts for the first thirty minutes or so, the Spanish international pulled up his socks after the home side’s second goal and put in a dominant display for the rest of the game.
Thomas Vermaelen – 7/10
Started off better than his defensive partner and continued his good work in the second period as well. Got the assist for Suarez’s second goal with a powerful header.
Jordi Alba – 6/10
Had an interesting battle on hands against the young Alvaro Adriozola, which sort of contained his impact in the attacking third.
Sergio Busquets – 6/10
Started off shakily, overwhelmed by the energy and the pressing by La Real, but grew into the game with time. Not his best performance, but did just enough to keep the goals down after the early blitz.
Ivan Rakitic – 6/10
The Croatian too struggled to get going early on like his teammates, but worked very hard and improved as the game wore on.
Andre Gomes – 5/10
A surprise inclusion in the starting XI, the Portuguese was a passenger for most of the game and was taken off in the second half.
Paulinho – 6/10
Started the comeback with the opening goal for Barcelona but had little impact other than that. Withdrawn early in the second period.
Luis Suarez – 9/10
Was Barcelona’s chief instigator on the night, as he helped kickstart their comeback by setting up Paulinho’s goal, before finding the back of the net twice in the second-half. Has now scored 8 goals in his last 6 league outings.
Lionel Messi – 8/10
Was not at his best, but was way ahead of most of the players on the pitch. Got the assist for Suarez’s equalising goal before putting the game to bed with a stunning free-kick.
Ousmane Dembele – 6/10
Replaced Paulinho with 25 minutes left. Did his defensive duties well.
Lucas Digne – N/A
On for Gomes with ten minutes left in order to add more protection to the backline.
Denis Suarez – N/A
Introduced in the final minute of the game for Luis Suarez.