Result: FC Barcelona 1-0 Real Sociedad
Date: 07 March 2020
Venue: Camp Nou
FC Barcelona reclaimed top spot in LaLiga after Lionel Messi struck late to secure victory over Real Sociedad on Saturday night.
Martin Braithwaite earned a start in the Barcelona attack while Ivan Rakitic and and Clement Lenglet were recalled after start El Clasico on the bench.
The Catalan giants were eager to get back to winning ways after last weekend’s loss to Real Madrid while Sociedad still have aspirations of finishing in the top four.
Braithwaite nearly made the perfect start after being slipped through on goal by Messi after 10 minutes, but the Danish striker saw his effort saved by Sociedad shot-stopper Alex Remiro.
It was one-way traffic in the first and Messi was at the forefront of everything, although the visitors did get a glimpse of goal int he 29 minute when Alexander Isak sent a header wide of the target.
The Catalan giants nearly got their reward shortly before the halftime break as Jordi Alba and Frenkie de Jong combined to set up Messi, who steered his strike just wide of Remiro’s upright.
The hosts continued to pressurise Sociedad after the break, with Remiro being called upon to deny the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Messi and Gerard Pique in the opening 15 minutes.
With Barcelona struggling to break down the visitors, manager Quique Setién introduced Arturo Vidal for Rakitic, just moments before Llorente made way for Zubeldia.
The hosts were eventually afforded a lifeline after being awarded a penalty after Le Norman was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box. Messi stepped up and converted to put his side ahead.
There were a couple more openings in the latter stages but 1-0 was how the encounter ended as the Catalan giants moved one point clear of Real Madrid>chaosafrica