Barcelona fired back into second place by Lamine Yamal in lungbusting clash with Real Sociedad



Barcelona 2-0 Real Sociedad

Barcelona knew that only victory would take them into the final three matches in second place, but they faced a difficult task with Real Sociedad standing in their way. As it was, they once again had 16-year-old Lamin Yamal to thank for the three points.

La Real started better, took a high lead, and created problems for the hosts. Cheraldo Becker started the attacking line alongside Mikel Oyarzabal, with Imanol Alguacil shifting to a central defender three. The pair caused havoc, with Becker regularly falling behind, but a combination of poor finishing, offside flags and fouls prevented him from opening the scoring.

After about 20 minutes, Barcelona began to apply their own pressure, with neither team appearing to be particularly adept at playing through it. It was moves from deep that opened the game, as Pedri passed the ball to Robert Lewandowski, who turned his own player and put Ilkay Gundogan in behind. He squared it in favor of Lamine Yamal, who made no mistake.

Before that, Lamine Yamal had gone close to scoring after an excellent tackle with Gundogan, leaving John Aramburu in his wake. Rafinha had broken the inside of the column shortly beforehand as well.

In the early stages, Real Sociedad came out of the fight, with both teams looking to play increasingly direct, which led to the end of the game. Real Sociedad had a brief spell where it looked as if they would equalize, as Bryce Mendes failed to capitalize on a Gundogan error, running past Pau Kuparsi, and putting it wide of the target.

On the other hand, Alex Remiro was increasingly in demand to keep La Real in it. Lamine Yamal did not take advantage of the two opportunities he had to shoot the ball into the penalty area, and at the break Ferran Torres made a brilliant save shortly after coming on for Lewandowski, after also blocking Rafinha's shot. In stoppage time, a free kick hit Alvaro Odriozola's arm, and after a VAR check, a penalty kick was awarded. Rafinha stepped up and scored from the penalty spot seconds before the end of the match.

Barcelona moved ahead of Girona into second place, as they consider a trip to Almeria on Thursday. There were cheers for Xavi Hernandez, but some whistles too, as was the case for President Joan Laporta. Real Sociedad remain seventh, one point behind Real Betis, in their bid to win the Europa League – the two teams meet on Sunday, but Real face Valencia before that encounter.





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