FC Barcelona defeated Real Sociedad leaders Real Sociedad 2-1 at the Camp Nou on Wednesday to fifth place in the standings.
Willian Jose opened the scoring in the 27th minute. But goals by Jordi Alba and Frankie de Jong put Barca ahead of the break.
The defeat was Real Sociedad’s first road defeat of the season and brought Atletico Madrid to the top of the table on goal difference.
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Barca was good for 45 minutes and had bad luck in the defense. They could have scored three or four goals in the first half, but it only took two to win this season for the first time. After the break they showed a different side of their game and held the lead while La Real was busy. It was the most complete performance of Barca in La Liga in months.
Particularly noteworthy are the commitment of Alba on the left, the role of Pedri in a three-man midfield and the young duo of central defenders Ronald Araujo and Oscar Minguez.
The main complaint of coach Ronald Koeman this season is his inability to take risks, and that is also Barca’s problem – although this time it has not come back to haunt them.
Antoine Griezmann was good and in a good position, which gave him so many chances, but some of his failures, especially one of two meters in the second half, were unforgivable. Also Martin Braithwaite missed a good chance and Barca had to shake at the end.
Manager classification of 10
6 — Koeman was rewarded for his bravery by playing Araujo and Minges for the more experienced Clement Lenglet, while Pedri was much better prepared for the three-man midfield than Philippe Coutinho on Sunday against Levante.
Player Rating (1-10; 10 = best. Players registered after 70 minutes do not get a score)
The six year old goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen — had to work on his goalkeeper in the dying moments, and made a brilliant rescue from Alexander Isak after seeing his first attempt blocked by Willian Jose.
DF Sergino Dest, 6 — Good cross for Pedri, who got up early and worked hard on the defense.
DF Ronald Araujo, 6… Strong and fast, but a little reckless. I encountered some problems in and around the penalty area that could have been sanctioned.
DF Oscar Mingeza, 7… Well done, well done. Fast on the field and good on the ball. However, his only mistake almost led to a goal for Real Sociedad. Fortunately Pedri came back to help him.
DF Jordi Alba, 8 — Seems with a weak right foot, prepares another race for De Jong and another for Griezmann on home plate. He now has six assists and one goal in the season.
MF Sergio Busquets, 6 — Another quiet performance that ended early in the second half after an awkward wrong call.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Jordi Alba was the star of Barcelona. The leftback scored the first goal and put De Jong in for the second. David Ramos/Getty Images
MF Frenkie de Jong, 7… Second encouraging performance in a week. He has more freedom to move forward in a three-man center field and has maximized his performance with a goal.
MF Pedri, 7 – does not stop running and pushing, but can also play games. There were highlights on both sides: a brilliant Braithwaite in the first half and a tireless Minguez who covered the second half, touching the post.
FW Antoine Griezmann, 6 — Fogged a two-metre shot, but plays well and can still score three goals. He also hit the bottom of the hoop and saw another well saved shot.
FW Lionel Messi, 7 years old…. His fingerprints were on both targets, even though he didn’t set them up. He played unselfishly most of the night.
FS Martin Braithwaite, 6 — Worked hard and offered his rhythm and strength over a wide area. A great missed opportunity.
Supply of spare parts
MF Carlz Alena, 5… Some good runs on the ball, but too inaccurate on the ball.
FW Francisco Trincao, 5 – A few nice touches, but he gave the ball away in dangerous areas.
MF Miralem Pjanic, N/R — Joined Pedri after he injured himself by sliding off a pole.
Д. F. Clement Lenglet, N. R… Mingueza, who’s been having spasms lately, has appeared.
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