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La Liga

Real Sociedad 0-1 Barcelona

The referee blows for full-time, and Barcelona claims a massive win over Real Sociedad, courtesy of Aubameyang’s first-half header.

The Blaugrana were made to suffer in the second half, clinging onto their narrow lead despite losing multiple players to injury, with Sorloth missing the hosts’ two best chances to equalise.

It’s a fifth consecutive away league win for Xavi’s team.

Starting lineup:

REAL SOCIEDAD (4-4-2): Alex Remiro;

Diego Rico, Robin le Normand, Igor Zubeldia, Zaldua;

Rafinha Alcantara, Mikel Merino, Martin Zubimendi, Adnan Januzaj;

Alexander Isak, Alexander Sorloth.

 

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BARCELONA (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen;

Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique, Ronald Araujo, Dani Alves;

Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, Gavi;

Ferran Torres, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ousmane Dembele.

Goal:

Aubameyang gives Barcelona the lead just seconds after they had hit the post! The Blaugrana keep the attack alive through Gavi, and Torres chips the ball to the back post after being picked out by the youngster. Aubameyang is there to nod home, and the visitors lead.

What does it mean? Barca is back on track. 

Barca followed Europa League elimination at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt with a loss to Cadiz last weekend.

But they got back to winning ways in San Sebastian.

The Blaugrana are undefeated in 12 LaLiga matches against La Real. At the same time, coach Imanol Alguacil has now faced them eight times without recording a win – he has not overseen more games without winning against any other opponent in the competition.

De Jong pulls the strings:

Barca’s best moments came when they attacked at pace, and De Jong was key to ensuring they moved the ball quickly.

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No one on the pitch had more than his three key passes, while he also had the joint-most attempts on goal for the Blaugrana.

One mix-up proves costly:

Joseba Zaldua and Mikel Merino were well-positioned to clear the ball after Dembele hit the post.

But they hesitated, and Gavi nipped in and fed Torres for the assist on the game’s only goal.

So, what’s next?

It’s hard to overstate the importance of that result for Barcelona, who move back into second place in LaLiga, six points clear of fifth-placed Real Betis and eight clear of Sociedad.

A defeat would have been a massive blow to Xavi’s hopes of leading the Catalan giants to Champions League qualification.

Still, the likes of Ter Stegen, Pique, Busquets, and De Jong produced heroic performances to lead them to a much-needed victory.

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