Barcelona 2-0 Real Sociedad - Lamine Yamal and Raphinha goals ...

30 days ago
Barcelona vs Real Sociedad

Lamine Yamal and a late Raphinha penalty secured victory for Barcelona over Real Sociedad which moves them back up to second in la Liga.

Barcelona were value for victory with Sociedad stopper Alex Remiro called upon to make a number of saves in the second half.

The opener came five minutes before the break, just after Raphinha had been denied by the post, when Ilkay Gundogan slipped a square ball to Yamal and he calmly struck home first time.

Raphinha looked a perennial threat and was denied by Remiro before getting the chance to score after the referee ruled for a penalty kick when his free kick struck Alvaro Odriozola's arm and, with regular taker Robert Lewandowski off the field, he made no mistake from 12 yards out.

The win lifts Barcelona a point clear of Girona with three games remaining, Sociedad remain in seventh.

Talking Point - Intriguing role from Lewandowski

For much of the year, he has looked an island up front, not finding cohesive partnership with the other Barcelona forwards. This has led to him likely ending the year with less than 20 league goals for the first time in almost a decade.

Perhaps a way forward will be in the way he played in the first half where, rather like his replacement at Bayern Munich Harry Kane, he dropped deep off the front line and played balls through to team-mates.

Ilkay Gundogan was a willing runner to find and so it proved for the opening goal when the Pole's perfect through-ball gave the former Manchester City man the opportunity to set up Lamine.

With rumours of Barcelona hoping to adjust his deal, with his money set to rise in his third year at the club, the 36-year-old's future is in doubt despite him having two years left on his contract.

The likes of Fermin Lopez and Gavi could all be beneficiaries if Lewandowski plays in such a role next season and performances like this may make Xavi campaign to retain his services.

Player of the Match - Lamine Yamal (Barcelona)

He still makes mistakes which remind you he is just 17, with a couple of occasions when dwelling on the ball on the edge of the area denying Barcelona chances. That said, he is already one of the most exciting players in the world. As always he had the most successful dribbles on the pitch and he almost scored a very Lionel Messi-like goal beating a couple of players and then playing a one-two with Ilkay Gundogan) with only a desperate challenge from Jon Pacheco denying him. The calm way he struck home the opener should give him confidence he can dramatically increase his tally of five league goals in the coming seasons.

Player Ratings

Barcelona: Ter Stegen 6; Kounde 6, Inigo Martinez 6, Cubarsi 6, Cancelo 6; Gundogan 7, Christensen 6, Pedri 6; Lamine Yamal 8, Lewandowski 7, Raphinha 7.

Subs: Sergi Roberto 6, Fermin 7, Ferran Torres 7, Romeu.

Real Sociedad: Remiro 7; Traore 6, Aritz 6, Le Normand 7, Pacheco 6; Aramburu 6, Turrientes 6, Mikel Merino 6; Oyarzabal 6, Brais Mendez 6; Becker 6.

Subs: Tiernay 6, Take 7, Barrenetxea 6, Zakharyan 6, Odriozola 6.

Match Highlights

27'ALMOST A GREAT GOAL FROM LAMINE! He beat two men dribbling into the box and then exchanged passes with Gundogan and was about to strike at goal when Pacheco lunged back to nip the ball off his toes.

38'RAPHINIA SHOOTS AGAINST THE POST! It was curling away from Remiro but strike the inside of the post and came back too fast for Gundogan to control, with the rebound going wide.

40'GOAL! BARCELONA (LAMINE) 1-0 REAL SOCIEDAD! Lewandowski came deep and then played the ball through to Gundogan and he squeezed it square to Lamine who calmly guided home first time into the corner.

65' RAPHINIA WITH ANOTHER WONDERFUL EFFORT! And it took a fine stop just under the crossbar from Remiro to deny him.

67'MENDEZ JUST MISSES FAR POST! He turned Paredes brilliantly to get the ball on his left foot but he steered the ball just wide of the far post.

77' FERRAN ALMOST SCORES WITH SECOND TOUCH! He controlled a ball on the edge of the box, then shot towards the goalkeeper's left corner but again Remiro makes a good save.

90+2' PENALTY! After VAR the referee awards a spot kick. Bizarrely it was not the handball first focused on but the earlier shot from Raphinha's free kick which the Barcelona players did not appeal for.

90+3' GOAL! BARCELONA (Raphinha) 2-0 REAL SOCIEDAD With Lewandowski off the field, the Brazilian makes no mistake from 12 yards out.

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