MX23RW : Friday, February 22 17:39:55
Jan 14, 2018 at 7.45pm UK at ​Estadio Municipal de Anoeta (Donostia-San Sebastián)
Attendance: 23,277
Real Sociedad
Jose (11'), Juanmi (34')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Paulinho (39'), Suarez (50', 71'), Messi (85')

Live Commentary: Real Sociedad 2-4 Barcelona - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the La Liga clash between Real Sociedad and Barcelona from the Anoeta, which ended in a 4-2 away win.
Live Commentary: Real Sociedad 2-4 Barcelona - as it happened
© Offside

Barcelona came from two goals behind to record a 4-2 win over Real Sociedad in Sunday night's pulsating La Liga clash at the Anoeta.

Sociedad led 2-0 against the league leaders after 34 minutes of football, but Paulinho netted late in the first period before a second-half double from Luis Suarez and late Lionel Messi strike secured all the points for Ernesto Valverde's side.

The victory was Barcelona's first in the league at the Anoeta for over 10 years, and it has moved them nine points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid. Champions Real Madrid, meanwhile, are now 19 points off the pace.

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

6.46pmEvening all! Sports Mole's live La Liga coverage continues from San Sebastian as Real Sociedad welcome league leaders Barcelona to the Anoeta. Barcelona will be looking to further stretch their lead at the summit, and Sociedad will not exactly enter this match in the best form. Stay tuned!

6.49pmBarcelona have won the last three meetings between the two teams – including a 3-2 success when they clashed at Camp Nou in April 2017. The pair also met twice in the Copa del Rey last season, with Barcelona winning 1-0 away and 5-2 at Camp Nou to advance to the next round 6-2 on aggregate.

6.52pmSociedad did beat Barcelona 1-0 on home soil during the 2015-16 La Liga season, however, and have actually won four of their last seven home league games against the Catalan giants, which is very impressive. Can the Basque outfit become the first team to beat Barcelona in the league this season?

6.55pmRight, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news from the Anoeta. Sociedad have had a free week to prepare for this match, but Barcelona were in Copa del Rey action against Celta Vigo on Thursday night, where they booked their spot in the quarter-finals courtesy of a 5-0 second-leg success. Any changes? Let's run through the two teams here...

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi celebrates scoring during his side's Champions League group game against Juventus at the Camp Nou on September 12, 2017© Offside


SOCIEDAD: Rulli; Odriozola, Llorente, Navas, Rodrigues; Zurutuza, Illarramendi, Prieto; Juanmi, Willian, Canales

BARCELONA: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Vermaelen, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Gomes, Paulinho; Messi, Suarez

7.02pmInigo Martinez is a notable exception for the home side tonight. The centre-back has not been confirmed as injured, and there has been speculation surrounding his future over the last few days. Martinez's absence allows Kevin Rodrigues to start, while Juanmi replaces Mikel Oyarzabal in a wide position. Willian Jose will again start through the middle for the out-of-form Basque club.

7.05pmAs for Barcelona, Sergio Busquets returns from a La Liga suspension, while there is a spot in midfield for Andre Gomes as Andres Iniesta and Ousmane Dembele both start on the bench. Paulinho will be the attacking midfielder for the Spanish league leaders, with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in the final third. Samuel Umtiti and new signing Philippe Coutinho are still both injured.


7.12pmSo there we have it. The two teams are in, and we are now just about 35 minutes from kickoff on this mild evening in the Basque Country. I shall speak about the home side a little bit later, but let's start with Barcelona. Ernesto Valverde's side will enter this match six points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid, and an incredible 16 points clear of fourth-placed Real Madrid on the same matches.

7.15pmIndeed, Real Madrid's 1-0 home defeat to Villarreal on Saturday afternoon has all but ended the Madrid club's chances of retaining the title. It has been a sensational start for Barcelona, who have won 15 and drawn three of their 18 league fixtures this term. They have the best offensive record in the division with 48 goals, and have only shipped seven, which is also the best defensive record in the top flight.

7.18pmSince drawing 2-2 at home to Celta Vigo on December 2, Barcelona have won four straight league games without conceding a single goal. They won 2-0 at Villarreal and 4-0 at home to Deportivo La Coruna, before that incredible 3-0 success away to Real Madrid ahead of the winter break in Spain.


7.25pmLast weekend, Barcelona eased past Levante with a 3-0 home win to further stretch their lead at the summit. The Catalan outfit, as mentioned, progressed to the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey on Thursday night courtesy of a 5-0 win over Celta, and also have the small matter of a two-legged Champions League knockout round clash with Premier League champions Chelsea to come.

7.28pmIn terms of what is ahead for Barcelona, they will travel to Real Betis in the league next weekend, before hosting Alaves on January 28. To be honest, it is difficult to see where they are going to drop points over the next few weeks. Arguably their next serious test in the league will not arrive until they host Atletico Madrid at the start of March. By then it could be pretty much done and dusted.

7.32pmAs for Sociedad, Eusebio Sacristan's side will enter this match off the back of a 1-0 defeat at Leganes last weekend. They beat Sevilla 3-1 in their last home match before the winter break in Spain, but have only actually won one of their last seven in the top flight. That disappointing run of form has seen the Basque club drop into 15th position in the table.


7.38pmSociedad are only three points off eighth-placed Getafe, however, and just four behind seventh-placed Eibar. La Real finished sixth in La Liga last season, and will still feel that they can secure that position in the second half of the 2017-18 campaign. A win tonight would be a big step in the right direction.

7.42pmSociedad also have European football to think about as they prepare to face Salzburg in the Europa League round of 32 next month. They are a side capable advancing deep into that competition, and it will be very interesting to see whether Eusebio puts his main focus into Europe if the team's inconsistent league form continues over the next few weeks. Right, kickoff at the Anoeta is next!

0 minKICKOFF! Sociedad kick things off at the Anoeta...

2 min... the rain is falling in San Sebastian, and that should make the pitch nice and quick. Barcelona have not won a league game in this stadium for over 10 years - will that run end tonight? Stay tuned.

4 minQuite a low-key start to this match, but Barcelona are enjoying a lot of the ball. Luis Suarez has just darted into the Sociedad box, but Rulli was out to claim. Not much from the home side thus far here.

6 minIt is almost a 4-4-2 for Barcelona at the moment, with Paulinho wide on the right and Gomes quite wide on the left. The away side are having lots and lots of the ball in the early moments here.

8 minOdriozola has not been afraid to get forward for the home side in the first seven minutes of this football match, but Sociedad are yet to threaten the Barcelona goal. No clear chances for the visitors either, although Rulli has had to be quick off his line on a couple of occasions here.

10 minHalf-chance for the away side as Messi finds some space outside the Sociedad box, but the Argentine swings his effort just wide of the crossbar. Excellent feet from the little Argentine.

11 minGOAL! Sociedad 1-0 Barcelona (Willian Jose)

12 minOh my word! Sociedad make the breakthrough in the 11th minute of this match as Willian Jose meets a deep cross from Prieto, and his header hits the underside of the crossbar before bouncing in!

14 minBarcelona are coming under pressure here as Sociedad continue to force the issue in wide areas. Pique has just called the referee over for a word, but no action was taken for whatever it was.

16 minHalf-chance for Barcelona as Paulinho is found by Rakitic inside the Sociedad box, but the midfielder see his effort blocked, and eventually the whistle is blown for a free kick. I would be very surprised if we had seen the last of the goals as both teams continue to force the issue here.

19 minHalf-chance for Sociedad this time as Canales strikes from the edge of the Barcelona box, but Vermaelen is on hand to make the block. The resulting corner is then headed clear by Pique.

21 minBarcelona are struggling to get out of their own half at the moment as Sociedad continue to drive forward. They are stretching the pitch, which is causing Barcelona's narrow midfield problems.

23 minYou do get the feeling that Sociedad will need to score at least one more goal to have a chance of picking up a positive result tonight. Barcelona will find their gear at some point in this match.

25 minPlenty of possession for Barcelona at the moment, but not too much else. Luis Suarez is hacked to the ground by Llorente in a wide position, and the Uruguay international shows his frustration.

27 minPaulinho has almost joined Suarez and Messi in the Barcelona front three in the last five minutes or so, but the away side are still not having much joy as Sociedad continue to stretch the pitch. Eventually Canales strikes from distance for the hosts, and Ter Stegen is on hand to claim.

28 minGOAL DISALLOWED! Willian Jose's deflected effort finds the back of the net, but the whistle had been blown for a free kick. It was very soft - Zurutuza on Rakitic!

29 minCHANCE! Super chance for Barcelona to level as Alba breaks into the home side's box, but the full-back sees his effort deflected behind for a corner. Nervous moments here.

31 minSAVE! Ter Stegen gets down well to keep out a strike from Canales!

33 minBarcelona are just not themselves at the moment as the home side continued to press here.

34 minGOAL! Sociedad 2-0 Barcelona (Juamni)

35 minSociedad double their advantage here as Juanmi finds space inside the Barcelona box before finding the back of the net via a deflection off the foot of Roberto! What a turn-up!

37 minBarcelona cannot string two passes together at the moment!

39 minGOAL! Sociedad 2-1 Barcelona (Paulinho)

40 minGame on! Barcelona are back in the match as Paulinho slots a low Suarez cross into the back of the net. Sociedad just could not hold out in the latter stages of the first period here.

42 minSociedad switch back to their front-foot football as Odriozola bursts forward before finding Canales, but his effort is blocked. End-to-end football with 42 minutes on the clock here.

44 minThe next goal in this football match is absolutely massive. Barcelona would be absolutely full of it if they manage to level after falling two goals behind, but a third for Sociedad would be massive. It is absolutely vital that the hosts do not concede an equaliser before the half-time break here.

45 minHALF-TIME: Real Sociedad 2-1 Barcelona

8.32pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Sociedad leading Barcelona 2-1. The home side led 2-0 courtesy of goals from Willian Jose and Juanmi, but Paulinho netted for the visitors in the 39th minute to leave the match delicately poised ahead of the second period.

8.37pmSTATISTICS! Barcelona shaded the possession with 54%, but the away side only managed three attempts in the first period, and just one of those - Paulinho's goal - was on target. As for Sociedad, they managed seven attempts - five of which were on target. No bookings to report here.

8.42pmBENCH WATCH! Barcelona are not exactly short of attacking options on their bench this evening, with the likes of Dembele, Iniesta, Denis Suarez and Vidal all available. As for Sociedad, head coach Eusebio has options in the shape of Agirretxe, Januzaj and Oyarzabal. Interesting 45 minutes ahead!

46 minRESTART! Barcelona resume the action here...

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

48 minSAVE! Ter Stegen has to get down to keep out a strike from Canales!

50 minSAVE! Excellent work from Rulli as the Sociedad goalkeeper dives at the feet of Messi after the Barcelona forward had rounded his fellow Argentine! The resulting corner is then cleared.

50 minGOAL! Sociedad 2-2 Barcelona (Suarez)

51 minOh my word what a goal! Barcelona level the scores in the 50th minute as Luis Suarez curls a stunning effort into the top corner. The chip towards the far post was absolutely sensational!

53 minWhat a wonderful game of football, and we are far from finished level. Just a reminder that Barcelona have not won in this stadium in the league for over 10 years. We play on at 2-2 here.

55 minSociedad need to be careful here as Barcelona continue to pass and probe in the final third. Just a reminder that Dembele is on the bench for the visitors. He could yet come on to change this game.

56 minSOCIEDAD SUB! Zubeldia replaces the injured Zurutuza here.

58 minLittle over 30 minutes to play of what has been a brilliant football match. Sociedad are struggling for possession at the moment as Barcelona continue to pass and probe in the final third of the field.

59 minSociedad are preparing to make their second change as we approach the hour mark here.

60 minSOCIEDAD SUB! Oyarzabal replaces Juanmi for the home side.

60 minBOOKING! Roberto (Barcelona) is booked for dissent.

62 minBit of possession for Sociedad in the last few minutes as Barcelona are forced to retreat.

63 minOusmane Dembele will be the first player off the Barcelona bench tonight.

64 minBOOKING! Illarramendi (Sociedad) is booked for a foul on Messi.

66 minBARCELONA SUB! Dembele replaces Paulinho for the away side.

68 minYou just get the feeling that the next goal will be the winner here. It is not as open as the first period or early stages of the second as both teams take up more of a defensive shape. Not too much to speak about in terms of chances since Suarez found the top corner for 2-2 here.

70 minWillian Jose rises high at the far post to meet a cross from Prieto, but Roberto does well to put off the striker. Still 2-2 with 70 minutes on the clock. It has been an excellent game of football here.

70 minAlba delivers a very dangerous cross into the Sociedad box, but there are no takers!

71 minSuarez has a strike blocked as Barcelona continue to force the issue. Players are slipping and sliding all over the pitch as the rain continues to fall. You sense that a fifth goal is coming here.

71 minGOAL! Sociedad 2-3 Barcelona (Luis Suarez)

72 minJust incredible. Barcelona have completed the turnaround! It is poor from Sociedad as Rulli's loose clearance is headed down to Luis Suarez, who races clear before finding the back of the net!

74 minStill more than enough time for Sociedad to hit back here, but Barcelona are purring at this stage.

76 minJust a reminder that a win for Barcelona would see them move nine points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid and an incredible 19 points clear of fourth-placed Real Madrid. Wow.

78 minSOCIEDAD SUB! Prieto has been replaced by Januzaj for the home side.

80 minBARCELONA SUB! Digne replaces Gomes for the away side.

82 minTwo left-backs on the field for Barcelona at the moment as Alba goes ahead of Digne.

83 minSAVE! Rulli is down to keep out a super strike from Messi!

85 minThe Anoeta is quiet at the moment as Barcelona continue to enjoy plenty of the ball.

85 minBOOKING! Oyarzabal (Sociedad) is booked for a foul on Luis Suarez.

85 minGOAL! Sociedad 2-4 Barcelona (Messi)

86 minSensational from Messi as the Argentine finds the top corner with a super free kick!

88 minBit of pressure from Sociedad in the last couple of minutes, but Barcelona escape without conceding, and the league leaders will soon make their third change of the match here.

90 minBARCELONA SUB! Denis Suarez replaces Luis Suarez for the away side.

90+1 minWe are into the first of three additional minutes at the Anoeta.

90+2 minMore defending for Barcelona as they have to block a couple of attempts from the edge of the box. The Catalan giants are going to win a league game at the Anoeta for the first time since 2007.

90+2 minBOOKING! Pique (Barcelona) is booked for a foul on Oyarzabal.

90+4 minFULL-TIME: Sociedad 2-4 Barcelona

9.37pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Barcelona recording a 4-2 win over Sociedad to continue their unbeaten start to the campaign. What a recovery from the league leaders. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live coverage once again!

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Ernesto Valverde pictured in 2016
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