In the presence of an enthusiastic Camp Nou crowd eager to celebrate, Barcelona, the reigning champions, suffered a deserved 2-1 defeat against a remarkable Real Sociedad team, who appear poised to secure a place in the top four.
Barcelona, who had recently clinched the LaLiga Santander title, had a disappointing beginning on their home turf against the Basque side and were fortunate to enter halftime trailing by only one goal.
Real Sociedad exhibited great determination in this match, as it held greater significance for them, with the Basque team aiming to solidify their fourth-place position and secure a spot in the Champions League for the upcoming season.
Having witnessed Villarreal’s victory over Girona earlier, the team from San Sebastian commenced the match with a narrow two-point lead over the Yellow Submarine.
However, a triumph in this game would extend their advantage to five points with three matches remaining.
Real Sociedad began strongly and took advantage of their opponents’ lack of focus.
In the fifth minute, they capitalized on a mistake by Jules Kounde, launching a swift counterattack.
Alexander Sorloth won possession, drove forward, and then passed to Mikel Merino, who calmly slotted the ball between the legs of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
The second goal arrived in the 71st minute, following a similar pattern. This time, Martin Zubimendi dispossessed Frenkie de Jong in midfield, and once again, Real Sociedad launched a rapid offensive move.
Takefusa Kubo passed the ball back to Martin Zubimendi, who then found Sorloth, enabling him to confidently finish past Ter Stegen.
A short while later, Marcos Alonso was fortunate not to receive a red card after seemingly striking Take Kubo in the face following a foul committed by the Japanese midfielder.
Despite the lack of urgency in the game, with Xavi opting to make substitutions and provide playing time to some fringe players, Real Sociedad seemed to have the victory firmly in their grasp.
Lewandowski enhances his Pichichi candidacy with a goal
As the match progressed, it seemed as though it was already over, and the spectators at Camp Nou were primarily staying for the title celebration, regardless of the score.
Nevertheless, a striker of Robert Lewandowski’s caliber is always eager to find the back of the net, and he did just that, bringing him one step closer to clinching this season’s Pichichi trophy.
A hopeful cross from the right by Pablo Torre found its way into the penalty area, and Lewandowski’s powerful header flew past Alex Remiro, the goalkeeper.
With the deficit reduced to one goal, the intensity of the game intensified in the final stages, although the score remained Barcelona 1-2 Real Sociedad.
Barcelona Manager Xavi Hernandez after the game: “Thank you to the staff, the players who have given everything on the pitch, and to the fans. Without you it would not have been possible.”
“You have been spectacular. Those that have filled the stadiums, those that were at the bus parade. It’s given me goosebumps.”
In other story, Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid Slumps to Disappointing 1-0 Loss to Valencia”
Carlo Ancelotti’s hopes of witnessing a strong response from his players following their midweek humiliation in Manchester were dashed as his Real Madrid side suffered a 1-0 defeat against Valencia on Sunday.
To add to their woes, Vinicius Junior was sent off in the dying moments, concluding an evening to forget.
The Italian manager implemented several changes to his team, opting to drop players such as Rodrygo Goes, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, David Alaba, and Dani Carvajal.