Real Sociedad 0-1 Barcelona: Ronald Araujo scores late winner as Xavi’s side move up to third place in LaLiga
- Ronald Araujo cored a late winner as Barcelona beat Real Sociedad 1-0
- The victory means that Xavi’s team have moved up to third place in LaLiga
Ronald Araujo headed Barcelona to victory with the last attack of a game in which Xavi’s champions had been dominated by Real Sociedad and probably deserved to lose.
Barça were keen to put last week’s Clasico defeat behind them but produced one of their worst first half performances of the season. Real Sociedad had eight shots before the break with four of them on target.
Barcelona improved in the second half but were still second best. Incredibly Real Sociedad, who have not beaten Barcelona at home since 2016, could not convert their chances. And two minutes into the three that had been added on they paid for the wastefulness.
It was Ilkay Gundogan who provided the assist. The former Manchester City midfielder had not had his best game at the end of a week when he had controversially called out some of his team-mates for the way they failed to react to last week’s Clasico loss.
He mustered a piece of class in the last Barça attack however, floating a cross in towards Araujo and the Uruguayan guided his header through the legs of Alex Remiro.
Ronald Araujo scored a late winner as Barcelona overcame Real Sociedad with a 1-0 victory
The Barcelona players were jubilant following Araujo’s goal in the closing stages
Araujo managed to get on the scoresheet as Barcelona moved up to third place in LaLiga
The flag was raised but it did not take long for VAR referee Carlos del Cerro Grande to communicate to the official in the middle Javier Alberola that the defender had been level with Aihen Munoz and the goal had to stand.
Real Sociedad: Remiro, Traore (Elustondo 63), Zubeldia, Le Normand, Munoz, Mendez, Merino, Zubimendi, Kubo, Oyarzabal (Fernandez 84), Barrenetxea (Cho 79)
Subs: Zakharyan, Sadiq, Olasagasti, Marin, Odriozola, Turrientes, Gonzalez, Aramburu, Marrero
Booked: Mendez, Zubeldia, Zubimendi
Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Araujo, Kounde, Martinez, Cancelo (Raphinha 69), Gavi, Gundogan, Bale, Fermin (Torres 57), Lewandowski (Pedri 57), Felix (Yamal 69)
Subs: Pena, Astralaga, Casado, Romeu, Alonso, Chirstensen
Goal: Araujo 90
Booked: Martinez, Gavi, Felix
Barcelona players sprinted to the far corner to celebrate with their travelling supporters as the Real Sociedad players looked on in disbelief. There was barely time for the match to restart and the home side’s unbeaten run stretching back to 17 games had been broken.
Xavi waited for each of his players as they came off the pitch to congratulate them and he saved the biggest hug for Marc-Andre Ter Stegen who won man-of-the-match having denied Real Sociedad player’s time and again.
He pushed away fierce shots from Barrenetxea in both halves and saved well from Real Sociedad captain Mikel Oyarzabal. He did spill one first half shot from Munoz but Gavi made sure Martin Zubimendi could not turn the ball over the line.
As the clock run down Real Sociedad’s destiny was starting to become clear – they were not going to take any of their chances and just maybe Barça were going to snatch it late on.
Pedri was on as a second half substitute and his first appearance since getting injured at the end of August he played in Gavi who drew a fine save from Remiro. Then came the Gundogan cross which Araujo dispatched.
‘I think we had a Clasico hangover’ said Xavi after the game. ‘Our first 20 minutes were not acceptable. But I have the opposite feeling to last week against Real Madrid when we played well but did not get the result.’
Barcelona substitute Lamine Yamal looks to keep the ball under pressure from Hamari Traore
Xavi had to be patient but his Barcelona side eventually managed to overcome Real Sociedad
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