Barcelona proved their more resilient aspect as they battled back to secure an awesome win and extinguish Anoeta ghosts and go nine points clear at the top of La Liga.
Having gone 2-0 down in the first half, it appeared like the Catalans were in for another unavailing outing to Anoeta, a stadium were they had failed to win since May 2007, and they were made to work for the three focuses.
The Anoeta ghost that routinely spooks the Catalonians decided to show up, manifesting themselves in Willian Jose heading Xabi Prieto’s cross into the ground and past the hopeless dive of Ter Stegen. The Brazilian striker remained a consistent disturbance for Barcelona’s back line all through the whole game, battling off challenges and attracting fouls in an awesome show of his energy and quality.
The pressure, force, and accuracy of Eusebio’s men were excessively much for Barcelona, and Real Sociedad would get that 2-0 lead when ex-Real Madrid man Sergio Canales found a cutting Juanmi, whose shot redirected off the foot of Vermaelen and in for the goal to make it 2-0.
He had the ball in the net again just before the half-hour mark, but it didn’t count as the official’s whistle had blown for a foul from either Jose himself or Zurutuza. Ivan Rakitic went to ground under no evident contact before Jose’s deflected strike wrong-footed Ter Stegen.
However, Barcelona player who has been able to turn to this season in times of troubles has been Brazilian import Paulinho, and once again the former Tottenham player compiled on Sunday, getting a Luis Suarez cross from the left and jabbing it in past Rulli to cut the deficit to 2-1 in the last phases of the first half.
The goal gave Barcelona a seriously required certainty lift, and things had vastly different feelings toward the start of the second-half. It was Barcelona who was pushing ahead, and a break drove by Messi earned the equalizer, as the Argentine fed Suarez on the left and the Uruguayan twisted a shot over the head of Rulli and inside the far post to make it 2-2.
This time it was Real Sociedad who were reeling, and the third Barcelona goal was only an issue of time. It came by means of a mistake from goalkeeper Rulli, who played a ball into the center of the field that was headed forward by Vermaelen and Suarez swooped in and make a fine finish to make it 3-2.
Barcelona were quick to complete things off and extinguish their Anoeta ghost for the last time. Messi was glad to apply the finishing touch, by means of an inch-awesome free kick that he spun over the Real Sociedad wall and into the upper left corner of the net to make the scoreline 4-2.
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