Real Sociedad vs. FC Barcelona: Barça’s unbeaten run ends at Anoeta (3-2)
An injury time winner for Real Sociedad put an end to Barça’s unbeaten league season, with Tito’s team going down 3-2 despite having been 0-2 up in the first half.
Barcelona (FCB).- Barça\u2019s first league defeat of the season finally arrived with a 3-2 defeat in Donosti \u2013 an injury time winner for the Basques put an end to an astonishing run of 19 unbeaten games. It was a cruel way for the run to end \u2013 Barça had been two up within the first half hour, with only a late, late winner from the hosts giving them their win, but despite the dropped points, Barça still enjoy a clear lead at the top of the table.
Messi opens the scoring
Real Sociedad were always going to attempt to take the game to Barça, with talented attacking options in midfield and up front and a clear plan to press the visitors high up the pitch. Even so, it was Barça who had the early chances \u2013 Messi missing a great opportunity to open the scoring within the first five minutes and then almost immediately afterwards doing better with his second chance to put Barça one up.
Woodwork and goal for Pedro
Despite boasting 73% of the possession in the first half, Barça weren\u2019t in total control as the game opened up \u2013 interrupted on 18 minutes by the ref when the lights at the stadium failed. The league leaders soon doubled their lead though, when Pedro, who moments earlier had struck the woodwork, finished off a lovely sweeping move with Xavi and Alves on 25 minutes.
Real strike back before the break
Messi nearly made it three on 39 minutes with a clever chip which beat the Real keeper, hit the post and was cleared off the line by two defenders. Immediately afterwards, Chory Castro hit home with a well struck shot from the left to beat Valdes, who was then forced into a good stop from the same player just before the break. Messi then drew a great stop from Bravo and the teams went in 1-2 at the break \u2013 Barça hadn\u2019t quite been able to dominate in their usual style, but that was more down to Real\u2019s good play rather than any fault in the visitors\u2019 game.
Down to 10 men for the last half hour
Barça began the second half determined to slow the frenetic pace of the first half down and impose their more studied style on the proceedings and that seemed to be working until Pique saw his second yellow on 56 minutes and they were down to 10 men. Mascherano came on for Cesc to partner Puyol at the back, but the red card seemed to lift Real, who drew level five minutes later when a speculative Castro shot was deflected past Valdes off a Barça defender. Real seemed to be unsure whether to go for the win, or defend the draw, whilst Barça attempted to regain their control.