Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the match-winner as Barcelona beat Real Sociedad
Ahead of this encounter, Xavi’s side had lost back-to-back matches against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League and Cadiz in the league. The setbacks saw them booted out of Europe and leapfrogged by Sevilla in the league table.
However, the Blaugrana reclaimed second spot after a hard-fought victory against La Real. Sometimes the result is all that matters, but the Barcelona faithful would’ve been left concerned by how poorly their team played.
Despite grabbing an early goal through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Catalans offered very little for the rest of the game and were lucky to come away with a win.
Barcelona were lucky to escape
In every sense of the word, this was a scrappy win for Xavi and his side. The club lived dangerously for larger parts and had just one shot on target, which was the goal.
Real Sociedad were clearly the better side, having dominated possession and taken the game to their supposedly superior opponents.
La Real missed several key chances. If not for their wastefulness in front of goal, they could have easily snatched the three points on Thursday evening.
Barcelona haven’t been convincing in recent matches and their previous two games have been a testament to their decline. Against Real Sociedad, they were fortunate and they certainly would’ve been punished by a side with more quality.
Improvements needed in subsequent games
Gerard Pique’s return gave the Catalans some defensive stability, but the team’s overall performance was not encouraging.
There were too many mistakes across the pitch, as Real Sociedad were given too much time and space to carve through the Blaugrana’s defense.
“I am satisfied with the three points, it’s a vital victory for the future of the team and the club,” Xavi admitted in his post-match press conference, as quoted by Marca.”I’m not satisfied with the game,” he added. “We suffered in the second half. We have to be honest and self-critical. We haven’t played well and we need to improve. It’s the game in which we’ve suffered the most, along with the one against Villarreal. We noticed our fatigue.”
Barcelona are already certain to not win La Liga, but the top-four race is still on and they’ll need to improve massively to finish second.