MX23RW : Wednesday, July 28 11:25:17| >> :120:9578:9578:
Mar 7, 2020 at 5.30pm UK at Camp Nou
Attendance: 77,035
Real Sociedad
Messi (81' pen.)
FT(HT: 0-0)

Result: Lionel Messi rescues late win to send Barcelona back top

Result: Lionel Messi rescues late win to send Barcelona back top
© Reuters
Sociedad defender Robin Le Normand was penalised for an inadvertent handball and Lionel Messi made no mistake from the spot.

Lionel Messi's late penalty given after a VAR review saw Barcelona edge out Real Sociedad 1-0 at the Nou Camp to move back to the top of LaLiga.

Barca were looking for a response from last weekend's 2-0 El Clasico defeat to Real Madrid, but appeared set for another frustrating evening.

Then with 10 minutes left, Sociedad defender Robin Le Normand was penalised for an inadvertent handball as he dived to clear a cross in the six-yard box and Messi made no mistake from the spot.

During stoppage time, Jordi Alba had an effort on the break ruled out by VAR for an offside in the build-up, as Quique Setien's side moved two points in front of their title rivals, who travel to Real Betis on Sunday.

Barcelona created an early opening when Martin Braithwaite's low shot was saved at the near post.

The Denmark forward – making a first start since a specially-sanctioned transfer from Leganes outside the transfer window – raced clear again past a high defensive line to knock the ball into the net, but the offside flag had already gone up.

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Messi showed great skill to keep a ball in play on the goal-line before exchanging a give-and-go pass and then seeing his follow-up shot saved at point-blank range by Alex Remiro.

Real Sociedad, Setein's former club, came into the match on the back of six straight wins in all competitions.

The visitors finally sparked into life shortly after the half-hour mark following a break down the left when Portu just failed to get on the end of a clipped through ball.

Spain Soccer La Liga
Alex Remiro saved at point-blank range to deny Lionel Messi at the Nou Camp (Joan Monfort/AP)

As half-time approached, Messi sent a side-footed effort wide from 10 yards after a neat lay-off from Frenkie De Jong. The Argentina playmaker's frustrations saw him cautioned for a late tackle on Sociedad captain Mikel Merino just before half-time.

Soon after the restart, Sociedad winger Ander Barrenetxea blasted a shot over after cutting inside, before Messi curled a right-footed effort just wide from the edge of the penalty area.

Martin Odegaard, on loan at Sociedad from Real Madrid, sent a shot off target from Alexander Isak's cutback.

Barcelona went close again just after the hour mark when Ivan Rakitic fired in an angled drive which Remiro pushed behind. From the resulting corner, Gerard Pique sent a header straight at the goalkeeper.

In the 73rd minute, Sociedad broke into the Barcelona penalty area and Mikel Oyarzabal sent a rising drive just over with Marc-Andre Ter Stegen beaten.

The home side were awarded a penalty in the 80th minute following a lengthy VAR review for handball.

Sociedad defender Le Normand dived in to try to head clear a cross in the six-yard box, with the ball striking him on the upper arm.

Referee Juan Martinez Munuera went to look at the incident on the pitchside monitor from several angles, eventually returning to point to the spot. Remiro went the right way, but could not keep Messi's curling penalty out.

Sociedad were then calling for a penalty themselves after full-back Nacho Monreal looked to have been bundled over after getting ahead of Antoine Griezmann, but the officials waved play on.

Barcelona thought they had netted a second in added time when Alba knocked in a cutback from Ansu Fati, but VAR ruled the substitute had been offside when taking Messi's pass.

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Barcelona manager Quique Setien pictured in January 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States1011930
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia78520
Great BritainGreat Britain56415
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
1Athletic Bilbao00000000
2Atletico MadridAtletico00000000
5Celta Vigo00000000
14Rayo Vallecano00000000
15Real Betis00000000
16Real Madrid00000000
17Real Sociedad00000000

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