Barcelona 2-1 Real Sociedad: Frenkie de Jong completes fine comeback as Ronald Koeman’s side record back-to-back wins to move within six points of LaLiga summit
- Real Sociedad were aiming to extend their lead at the top of LaLiga
- The visitors took the lead after 27 minutes when Willian Jose scored
- Barcelona responded four minutes later when defender Jordi Alba struck
- Frenkie de Jong put Barcelona got the winner two minutes before half-time
Barcelona got their second home win in five days but Antoine Griezmann’s awful luck in front of goal continues. #
The French striker missed from two yards out when it would have been easier to score but the gaff didn’t stop Barca moving up to fifth in the table.
Griezmann had a chance to score in the first half but after rounding Real Sociedad keeper Alex Remiro, he hit his shot against the crossbar. In the second period he slid in to finish inside the six-yard box but despite the open goal he sent the ball into the arms of Remiro.
Frenkie de Jong’s strike shortly before half-time proved the match-winner on Wednesday
Victory over Real Sociedad now has Barcelona six points behind Atletico Madrid at the top
The keeper could not believe his luck and Griezmann could not believe his miss. ‘The shot against the bar was bad luck,’ said Ronald Koeman after the game. The less said about the other miss the better.
As it was Barcelona still ran out comfortable winners and Real Sociedad coach Imanol Alguacil admitted: ‘This was the best Barcelona we have seen for a long time. Even Messi was tracking back and winning the ball.’
A radiant Koeman said: ‘We were fantastic in the first half and we should have scored more goals. We deserved to come back and win the game. We never deserved to be behind in the first place.’
Barcelona went behind when Brazilian forward Willian Jose converted from close range
Willian Jose points to the back of his shirt after scoring the goal that put the visitors ahead
Barcelona full back Jordi Alba scores the equaliser from inside the Real Sociedad area
The visitors took the lead on 27 minutes through Willian Jose. The Brazilian striker turned the ball in from close range after being selflessly set-up by Portu.
But it lasted just four minutes as Jordi Alba restored parity. He doesn’t score many curling right-foot shots and this was one to savour as he ran onto a Pedri assist.
Frenkie de Jong then completed a fine team move just before half-time and, although the goal was ruled out for offside, the video assistant referee reversed the decision and Barcelona went in at the break ahead.
Alguacil’s praise for Messi was well deserved and Jordi Alba picked up the man of the match award but Pedri was perhaps the standout player. In ahead of the dropped Philippe Coutinho, he completely justified his selection ahead of the former Liverpool man.
Alba runs to Lionel Messi to celebrate after Barcelona got back on level terms
Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman delivers instructions to midfielder Sergio Busquets
His forward play was excellent but it was defensively he really excelled in the second period when he made a goal saving challenge on Alexsander Isak and clattered into the post.
This was the second consecutive home win for Barcelona and they now lie fifth just six points behind Sociedad with a game in hand.
The visitors missed their playmakers David Silva and Mikel Oyarzabal, both injured, and they missed their chance to pick up what would have been their first win at the Nou Camp in 29 years.
The last time they won in the Catalan capital in LaLiga John Aldridge and Dalian Atkinson were the scorers. Next year they will be playing to make sure the run does not extend to three decades.
Of more pressing concern is how Barcelona are now just behind them in the table.
Frenkie de Jong sends Barcelona into the lead with a cool finish past stopper Alejandro Remiro
De Jong runs into a huddle of his team-mates after they got back in front at the Nou Camp