Apr 15, 2017 at 7.45pm UK at ​Camp Nou
Barcelona
3-2
Real Sociedad
Messi (17', 37'), Alcacer (44')
Alcacer (41'), Suarez (68'), Pique (88')
FT(HT: 3-2)
Umtiti (43' og.), Prieto (45')
Vela (7'), Illarramendi (49')

Live Commentary: Barcelona 3-2 Real Sociedad - as it happened

Luis Suarez in action for Barcelona during their La Liga clash with Granada at the Camp Nou on October 29, 2016
© SilverHub
Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the La Liga clash between Barcelona and Real Sociedad from Camp Nou.

Barcelona entered Saturday night's La Liga fixture with Real Sociedad six points behind table-topping Real Madrid.

An incredible first 45 minutes produced five goals, with the home side leading 3-2 at the half-time break.

Sociedad threatened to complete the comeback in the second period as they dominated against a lacklustre Barcelona, but first-half goals from Lionel Messi (2) and Paco Alcacer proved just about enough to win the contest.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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6.46pmEvening all! Sports Mole's live La Liga coverage continues from Camp Nou as Spanish champions Barcelona welcome Real Sociedad. Only a win will do for Barcelona as they look to stay in the title race entering next weekend's El Clasico, but Sociedad kept themselves in European contention with a strong home win over Sporting Gijon last time out. Stay tuned for all of the action from this key fixture!

6.49pmSociedad have actually won three of the last five La Liga meetings between the two teams, although each of those victories came on home soil. Barcelona recorded a 5-2 victory in the reverse match at Camp Nou earlier this season, and the Catalan outfit do have a very strong record against Sociedad in this particular stadium. Will that run continue tonight? Stay tuned to find out!

6.52pmRight, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news from Camp Nou. Sociedad have had since Tuesday to prepare for this match, but Barcelona were in Champions League quarter-final action away to Juventus on Tuesday night – losing 3-0 in the first leg of that particular tie. It was another very disappointing away European night for Luis Enrique's side.

Gerard Pique in action for Barcelona on October 19, 2016© SilverHub


6.55pmTEAMS!

BARCA: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Gomes; Alcacer, Suarez, Messi

SOCIEDAD: Rulli; Zaldua, Navas, Inigo, Yuri; Prieto, Illarra, Zurutuza; Vela, Willian, Oyarzabal


6.58pmBarcelona boss Luis Enrique has made four changes to the team that started against Juventus during the week, with Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Andre Gomes and Paco Alcacer all coming into the XI. Neymar misses out tonight through suspension, while a calf problem keeps Javier Mascherano on the sidelines. Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, however, both start for the Spanish champions.

7.02pmAs for Sociedad, head coach Eusebio Sacristan has made just one change from the team that beat Sporting Gijon last time out, and that comes in the final third as Mikel Oyarzabal takes the place of Juanmi. Willian Jose will again lead the line for the Basque outfit, while Carlos Vela and David Zurutuza keep their spots in the XI. A knee problem, however, keeps Carlos Martinez on the sidelines.

Sergi Roberto jostles with David Zurutuza during the La Liga game between Real Sociedad and Barcelona on April 9, 2016© AFP


7.05pmSo there we have it. The two teams are in and we are now just about 40 minutes from kickoff on this warm evening in Spain. I shall speak about Sociedad a little bit later, but let's start with Barcelona, who simply have to win tonight. Real Madrid's 3-2 victory at Sporting Gijon earlier this afternoon has left Los Blancos six points clear of second-place Barcelona at the top of the table.

7.08pmWorryingly for Barcelona, Real Madrid have opened that six-point gap having played the same amount of games as the reigning champions. Luis Enrique's side have the chance to cut the gap to three points tonight, but Real Madrid are still very much in charge of their own destiny this season. One thing is for certain, next weekend's El Clasico at the Bernabeu is going to be a slightly important.

7.12pmAfter Real Madrid drew 1-1 at home to Atletico Madrid last weekend, Barcelona had the chance to gain some ground when they travelled to Malaga on Saturday night. Neymar was sent off in a 2-0 defeat for the Catalan giants, however, as they suffered another away defeat following a 2-1 reverse at Deportivo La Coruna on March 12. Neymar is, of course, now suspended for El Clasico.

Barcelona forward Neymar in action during his side's La Liga clash with Deportivo La Coruna at the Camp Nou on October 15, 2016© SilverHub


7.15pmBarcelona responded to that defeat at Deportivo by scoring 11 times in victories over Valencia, Granada and Sevilla, but they were poor against Malaga last time out. As mentioned, the Catalan outfit simply have to win when they travel to Real Madrid next weekend, although they also have the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final at home to Juventus on Wednesday night.

7.18pmBarcelona created Champions League history in this season's round of 16 against Paris Saint-Germain when they overcame a 4-0 first-leg deficit at Camp Nou to triumph, and they will again have to come from behind in the quarter-finals if they are to make the semi-finals. Indeed, the Spanish champions were well beaten at Juventus on Tuesday night - losing 3-0 in Turin. In truth, it is very difficult to imagine Juventus conceding at least three times at Camp Nou without scoring next week.

7.22pmOsasuna will visit Barcelona in the league on April 26, before Enrique's side travel to Espanyol in their final La Liga fixture of April. They will host Villarreal and Eibar in addition to travelling to Las Palmas in the league next month, while they also have the small matter of a Copa del Rey final against Alaves on May 26. Next weekend, as mentioned, they will travel to Bernabeu for El Clasico.

Isco in action during the La Liga game between Barcelona and Real Madrid on December 3, 2016© SilverHub


7.25pmAs for Sociedad, a run of four victories and just one defeat between February 5 and March 3 led to suggestions that the Basque outfit could sneak into the top four this season. They failed to win between March 12 and April 4, however, suffering defeats to Athletic Bilbao, Alaves and Atletico Madrid as Eusebio's side fell down to eighth position in the table, leaving them off the pace.

7.28pmSociedad picked up a vital three points at home to Sporting Gijon on Monday night, however, and the 3-1 success saw them jump above Bilbao and Eibar into sixth position. They are now down in seventh, but actually just two points behind fifth-place Villarreal, although nine points seperates them from fourth-place Sevilla, which is a big gap to close at this stage of the campaign.

7.32pm

7.35pmIt has been a case of 'all or nothing' for Sociedad on their travels this season, with the Basque outfit winning eight and losing seven of their 15 away games in the league. They have only suffered four home defeats this season, although have only won seven of their 16 fixtures at San Sebastian, which has harmed their push for a Champions League position. Kickoff is fast approaching here!

7.38pmIn terms of what is ahead for Sociedad, Eusebio's side will welcome Deportivo next weekend, before ending the month with fixtures against Valencia (A) and Granada (H). The Basque side have finished 12th and ninth in their last two La Liga campaigns, but are on course for a return to European football for the 2017-18 campaign. A win tonight would give them a lot of confidence.

7.42pmHere we go then - both sets of players have joined us on the pitch for the first 45 minutes of action. The home supporters are expecting a strong response from their team tonight following back-to-back defeats without scoring. Only a win will do if the Catalan side are to stay in the title race.

0 minKICKOFF! Sociedad kick things off at Camp Nou...

2 min... as expected, Barcelona have taken control of the possession in the opening couple of minutes, with Sociedad dropping into a deeper shape. I fancy Barcelona to win tonight, but Sociedad have the potential to cause a lot of problems. It is very much win or bust in terms of the title race.

3 minCHANCE! Super chance for Sociedad as Willian sets up Yuri inside the Barcelona box, but the defender's goal-bound effort is blocked by Pique. That was going in!

5 minSuper work from Luis Suarez as the striker collects a pass from Alba in a wide position before attempting to find Rakitic, but Navas is across to make the challenge. Open start to this match.

6 minCHANCE! Big chance for the home side this time as Alba finds all sorts of space down the left before delivering a low cross towards Suarez, but the striker slips at the vital moment.

7 minBOOKING! Vela (Sociedad) is booked for a late tackle on Alcacer.

10 minYou just get the feeling that the first goal tonight - if there indeed is one - will be vital in terms of the final result. The atmosphere inside Camp Nou will be very interesting if Sociedad can take the lead, but if Barcelona open the scoring then you would have to fancy the Catalan side to be quite comfortable.

10 minYuri hits another one for Sociedad, but his effort was always too high.

12 minBrilliant goalkeeping from Rulli as the Sociedad stopper comes out to deny Alcacer, before flying out to palm behind when Roberto looked favourite to deliver into the middle of the box.

13 minSAVE! Super chance for the away side as Yuri breaks down the left before finding Oyarzabal unmarked inside the Barcelona box, but the youngster's effort is straight at Ter Stegen!

15 minSociedad fancy it tonight. That is obvious in the opening 15 minutes of this match. There is just something with this Barcelona defence at the moment. It is all over the place once again here.

17 minGOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Sociedad (Messi)

18 minOh my goodness what a strike. Barcelona take the lead in the 17th minute of this match as Messi works some space outside the Sociedad box before drilling a low effort into the bottom corner!

20 minSAVE! Wonderful goalkeeping from Rulli as the Sociedad stopper keeps out a close-range attempt from Messi, who had been found by an excellent cross from Luis Suarez.

21 minRulli is still down receiving treatment after colliding with Messi.

23 minHalf-chance for Sociedad as Oyarzabal drives to the edge of the Barcelona box before curling one towards the top corner, but his effort was always moving wide of Ter Stegen's post.

25 minYuri continues to break forward from defence, and the full-back has another strike towards the Barcelona goal, but his effort is deflected into the arms of Ter Stegen. Sociedad continue to cause problems in the final third of the field, and in truth, they do not deserve to be behind here.

27 minCHANCE! Super chance for Barcelona to score their second of the night as Roberto finds Alcacer inside the Sociedad box, but the former Valencia striker gets his effort all wrong!

30 minLittle over 15 minutes of the first period remaining, and Messi's goal still separates the two teams at Camp Nou. Sociedad have had two or three very good chances to get their name on the scoresheet, but poor finishing has cost them. It has been a very enjoyable game of football.

32 minJust a reminder that a win for Barcelona would see them return to within three points of Real Madrid at the top of the table. Sociedad are far from finished here, however, as they continue to cause problems in the final third of the field. The visitors are very unfortunate to be behind tonight.

34 minHalf-chance for Sociedad as Willian Jose finds space in a dangerous position, but his effort is straight at the home side's goalkeeper. Little over 10 minutes of the first period to play here.

35 minGomes misses the crossbar with an effort from distance.

37 minGOAL! Barcelona 2-0 Sociedad (Messi)

38 minBarcelona double their lead at Camp Nou, with Messi scoring his second of the night. It was a horrible goal from Sociedad's point of view. A mistake from Zaldua allowed Luis Suarez to have a strike on goal, and the forward's effort was saved into the path of Messi, who could not miss.

41 minSociedad continue to commit players in the final third, and they are leaving themselves open down the other end of the field. Messi will fancy his chances of grabbing another hat-trick tonight.

42 minGOAL! Barcelona 2-1 Sociedad (Martinez)

43 minGame on! Sociedad are back in this football match as Martinez smashes one into the back of the net, albeit via a deflection from Umtiti. It was very poor defending from the home side!

44 minGOAL! Barcelona 3-1 Sociedad (Alcacer)

45 minIt is raining goals! Barcelona have their third of the night as Alcacer converts from inside the box after a brilliant pass from Messi had released the former Valencia striker!

45 min+1GOAL! Barcelona 3-2 Sociedad (Prieto)

45 min+2Just incredible. Sociedad have their second of the match as a wonderful pass from Vela releases Prieto, and the captain sends a fabulous volley into the bottom corner for 3-2!

45 min+2HALF-TIME: Barcelona 3-2 Sociedad

8.33pmGood grief what an end to the first period! Four goals in the final eight minutes of the first 45 minutes as Barcelona enter the break with a 3-2 lead. When Messi scored his second to make it 2-0 in the 37th minute, the Spanish champions looked to be en route to all three points. Sociedad hit back in the final minutes of the half, however, to ensure that they remain very much in this contest.

8.38pmSTATISTICS! Barcelona have shaded the possession with 53%, while they have had nine attempts - five of which were on target. Sociedad, however, bit the target with six of their 11 attempts in the opening 45 minutes. One yellow card apiece in the first half - Vela for Sociedad and Alcacer for Barcelona.

8.43pmBENCH WATCH! Andres Iniesta, Denis Suarez and Carles Alena are among those available for Barcelona boss Luis Enrique in the second period tonight. As for Sociedad, the visitors have options in the shape of Sergio Canales, Esteban Granero and 23-year-old Portuguese Kevin Rodrigues.

46 minRESTART! Barcelona resume the action at Camp Nou...

47 min... no changes from either side at the interval, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period develops here.

49 minGood pressing from Sociedad at the start of the second period as they continue to win the ball high up the field. Zurutuza delivers a dangerous cross into the Barcelona box following another smart passing move, but Pique is on hand to make the clearance. I fancy more goals in this game.

49 minBOOKING! Illarramendi (Sociedad) is booked for fouling Messi.

50 minSAVE! Rulli drops to save a free kick from Messi.

52 minRoberto delivers a dangerous cross into the Sociedad box, but Messi cannot make proper contract, and the away side survive a dangerous moment. Surely there are more goals in this match.

54 minNeither side is really in control of this game at the moment, with both guilty of conceding possession in the final third of the field. You just get the feeling that the next goal will be vital. A fourth for Barcelona would surely be enough to kill off Sociedad's challenge at Camp Nou.

56 minWhistles from the home supporters, who are not pleased with what is occurring on the field. Barcelona still have the lead, but Sociedad continue to look extremely dangerous on the counter-attack.

58 minLittle over 30 minutes of the second period remaining, and Sociedad are full of confidence as they continue to pass and probe in the final third of the field. Vela looks to lay a pass into Oyarzabal as the pressure continues, but Ter Stegen is out to make the pressure of his defence.

60 minVery strange atmosphere inside the stadium at the moment. It is almost deadly silent! Sociedad continue to fancy their chances as they commit four, five players to each break forward.

62 minCHANCE! Super chance for Sociedad as Willian Jose finds all sorts of space inside the Barcelona box, but the striker takes too long to release a shot, allowing Pique to come across!

63 minSOCIEDAD SUB! Canales replaces Vela for the away side.

65 minGood pressure from Sociedad as the away side force a couple of set pieces in quick succession, although Barcelona manage to clear their lines. Still 3-2 to the home side at Camp Nou.

66 minCanales delivers a dangerous cross into the Barcelona box, but Willian Jose does not read the pass, and Barcelona survive another dangerous moment. It is all Sociedad here.

66 minCHANCE! Willian Jose turns a low Yuri cross wide of the post!

68 minIniesta will soon enter the field for the home side.

68 minBOOKING! Suarez (Barcelona) is booked for an elbow on Martinez.

70 minBARCELONA SUB! Iniesta replaces Gomes for Barcelona.

72 minSAVE! Ter Stegen has to tip a long-range Illarramendi effort over the crossbar!

72 minCHANCE! Inigo heads a corner from Canales wide of the post!

75 minYou just get the feeling that there is another goal in this match. Sociedad remain on the front foot as they chase a third, but the door will be open for Barcelona down the other end of the field.

77 minThe Barcelona supporters behind the goal have just started to raise the volume at Camp Nou, but the rest of the stadium is not following. It is a very strange atmosphere inside this famous ground.

78 minBarcelona are simply hoofing the ball down-field at the moment, which is incredible to see. Safe to say it is not being well-received by the supporters, who are very frustrated with their team here.

79 minSOCIEDAD SUB! Jon replaces Willian Jose for the visitors.

80 minBARCELONA SUB! Denis Suarez replaces Alcacer for the home side.

81 minSAVE! Rulli is on hand to keep out a low strike from Rakitic.

84 minLittle over five minutes of the second period remaining, and the home supporters have started to find their voice, which is exactly what the team needs at this stage of the match. Sociedad have given everything to level the scores, but time is just starting to run out here.

85 minSOCIEDAD SUB! Granero replaces Zurutuza for the away side.

87 minMessi goes down inside the Sociedad box under a challenge from Inigo Martinez, but the referee is not interested. Denis Suarez then hits one from distance, but Rulli is on hand to make the save.

88 minBOOKING! Pique (Barcelona) is booked for fouling Oyarzabal.

89 minIt is far from ideal that Messi and Suarez have had to play the full 90 minutes ahead of next week's Champions League quarter-final second leg with Juventus, but Barcelona simply had to win this match. The Spanish champions are closing on all three points, although they are not quite there.

90 min+1We are into the first of three additional minutes here.

90 min+2Time is running out for Sociedad as the clock continues to tick on at Camp Nou.

90 min+2Yuri fires over the Barcelona crossbar after breaking into the box!

90 min+2SAVE! Rulli makes a super save to keep out Luis Suarez!

90 min+4FULL-TIME: Barcelona 3-2 Sociedad

9.38pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Barcelona running out 3-2 winners over Real Sociedad to move three points behind Real Madrid at the top of the table, which sets us up nicely for El Clasico next weekend! Thanks for joining Sports Mole once again!

Gerard Pique in action for Barcelona on October 19, 2016
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3Atletico MadridAtletico33208560243668
4Sevilla33198658391965
5Villarreal33169848272157
6Real Sociedad33174124945455
7Athletic Bilbao32165114537853
8EibarEibar32148105244850
9Espanyol331310104443149
10Celta Vigo32135144852-444
11AlavesAlaves331111113240-844
12Valencia33117154756-940
13Las PalmasLas Palmas33109145258-639
14Real Betis33107163651-1537
15Malaga3399153849-1136
16Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo33710163551-1631
17Leganes3369182751-2427
18Sporting GijonSporting Gijon3358203666-3023
19Granada3348212770-4320
20Osasuna3339213475-4118