Barca fail to break Sociedad hoodoo
BARCELONA’S winless streak at Real Sociedad stretched to eight games as the Spanish champions were outplayed in a 1-1 draw yesterday that leaves them six points adrift of La Liga leaders Real Madrid.
A sumptuous finish from Lionel Messi spared Barca’s blushes after Willian Jose had headed Sociedad into a deserved lead just after halftime.
And Barca were fortunate to escape without a fifth consecutive league defeat in San Sebastian as Carlos Vela hit the woodwork twice and Juanmi’s header was wrongly ruled out for offside.
“It is almost a miracle that we took a point,” Barca boss Luis Enrique told BeIN Sports Spain.
“Real Sociedad were infinitely better than us with and without the ball. They won all the battles.”
A point is enough to move Barca up to second, but they now desperately need to beat Madrid in the first El Clasico of the season at the Camp Nou on Saturday.
Barcelona still haven’t won in San Sebastian since 2007, but were grateful for the point as Sociedad failed to cash in on their superiority.
“Playing like this it will be very difficult to win the league,” added Barca defender Gerard Pique.
Earlier, Atletico Madrid got back to winning ways and moved back into the top four as goals from Diego Godin, Kevin Gameiro and Yannick Carrasco ensured a comfortable 3-0 win at Osasuna.
Atletico had suffered backto-back La Liga defeats for the first time in four years at the hands of Sociedad and Real Madrid in recent weeks.
However, they never looked in danger after Jan Oblak had saved Roberto Torres’s penalty with the scores still level at 0-0.
Godin nodded home Koke’s corner nine minutes before halftime and almost straight from kickoff Angel Correa released Gameiro to double Atletico’s lead.
Substitute Carrasco rounded off the scoring with his eighth goal of the season in stoppage time.
“It was a very important game for us for the way in which we ended up playing,” said Atletico coach Diego Simeone.
Atletico leapfrog Villarreal, who earlier lost 2-0 at home to Alaves, into fourth and move back to within nine points of Real Madrid.
“Oblak was decisive with the penalty save and after Godin’s goal we felt more comfortable,” added Simeone.
“In the second half we were a lot more organised and had more of a collective effort which allowed us to kill off the game.”
Granada remain winless and rooted to the bottom after a 3-1 defeat at Celta Vigo. – AFP
Real Sociedad defender Carlos Martinez (left) vies with Barcelona forward Neymar during yesterday’s La Liga match at the Anoeta stadium in San Sebastian. – AFPPIX