Barca fail to break So­ciedad hoodoo

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

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

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