Barcelona made the trip to the Basque side of Spain to visit the Real Sociedad’s Reale Arena this weekend after a disappointing defeat against Real Madrid last weekend.
Facing a high-flying Sociedad was never going to be easy for Xavi’s men, but the Catalans were pegged back further than they could have imagined, with the hosts dominating proceedings from minute one.
Barcelona looked flustered through the first half, and could not find a way out of their midfield, and had conceded four shots on target by the end of the 45.
After being inferior for 88 minutes, though, Barcelona finally woke up and thrust in a flurry of chances, the last of which was converted by Ronald Araujo to eventually win the game.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 8
Kept Barcelona in the game with a few spectacular saves, even early on. Made a few sketchy pass choices, though, which only racked up the pressure from La Real.
Ronald Araujo: 8
Araujo had the monumental task of dealing with Ander Barrenetxea on the wing, who gave the Uruguayan a run for his money. Was caught in possession a few times, though.
Scored the winning goal out of nowhere, though, and deserved a thousand plaudits for it.
Jules Kounde: 5
Back in the side after injury, Kounde looked clumsy on and off the ball. He gave away multiple chances to Sociedad’s attack, including a mistake early on which was nearly converted. Lucky to not have a penalty called on him, too.
Inigo Martinez: 7.5
Inigo was boo’d every touch he took given his Athletic Club allegiance, but did not let that fluster him. Was by far and large the best defender tonight and did not give Sociedad an inch of space on his half, while also covering for Balde.
Joao Cancelo: 5
Went missing for way too long, and did not make much of a difference by the time he did show up. Was eventually taken off around the hour-mark.
The best performer for Barcelona yet again, Gavi chased down Sociedad forwards into his own box, and defended like a seasoned centre-back. Tried launching a few attacks, but was left largely unsupported.
Ilkay Gundogan: 6.5
Shocking performance from Gundogan, who’s words after the Barcelona clash clearly did not make enough of a difference. Did not deal with Sociedad’s press well enough, and misplaced multiple passes on the edge of the box.
However, his exceptional pass in the last minute proved to be what Barcelona were craving for as Araujo threw himself onto the pass and scored a diving header.
Fermin Lopez: 4
Barely seen through the game, Fermin could only do so much a lacking Barcelona side.
Alejandro Balde: 4
Made a couple of darting runs through the left wing, but had more defensive duties today, and could not cope well enough. Luckily had Gavi and Inigo covering for him, though.
Robert Lewandowski: 2
Lewandowski took just 12 touches today, and completed four passes, through little to no fault of his own, though, given the severe lack of service.
Joao Felix: 5
Came alive at the end of the first half and at the start of the second, but it was too little too late.
Came on to add much-needed depth to the midfield, but he, too was overrun by a much better drilled Sociedad side.
Ferran Torres: 6.5
Far more involved than Lewandowski in the game, and created more chances for himself, too. Had the chance to score or assist the winner in the 88th minute, though, and did not take it well enough.
Did decently well to add offensive aptitude into the side, including winning a few set pieces, but it resulted in nothing.