Barcelona complete to extend unbeaten with 4 - 2
Luis Suarez helped Barcelona overcome a two-goal deficit to claim a 4-2 win over Real Sociedad on Sunday night in their first league win at Anoeta since 2007.
The hosts raced out to a 2-0 lead through Willian Jose and Juanmi, but a late first-half goal from Paulinho swung the momentum in Barcelona's favour, and Suarez would complete the comeback with a pair of second-half strikes before Lionel Messi topped it off with a late free kick. With the victory Barcelona remain nine points up on second-place Atletico Madrid in the table, and a whopping 19 points in front of rivals Real Madrid. Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde made one change of note, as Andres Iniesta was rested and replaced in midfield by Andre Gomes.The Anoeta ghosts that routinely spook the Catalonians decided to make an early appearance, manifesting themselves in Willian Jose's 11th minute opener. Xabi Prieto curled in a cross from the right and Willian Jose, who scored the Real Sociedad goal in last season's 1-1 draw between the two teams in San Sebastian, thumped in a header past goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to make it 1-0 to the hosts. The Real Sociedad goal left Barcelona flustered.
Eusebio's team was making life very uncomfortable for the visitors and any time Messi was on the ball, there were at least two blue and white jerseys nipping at his heels.Barcelona could call themselves lucky that it wasn't 2-0 later in the half, as a deflected Willian Jose shot rolled in past Ter Stegen. However, referee Gonzalez Gonzalez whistled that Ivan Rakitic had been fouled, but replays showed little evidence of that.Real Sociedad had Barcelona on the ropes. Willian Jose was an absolute beast up top for the Basques, giving Barcelona centre-backs Gerard Pique and Thomas Vermaelen a fit. At the other end, the hosts were also clamping down on Messi's partner in crime, Jordi Alba. The Barcelona left-back, usually so active in attack, barely made any of his trademark runs down the left flank.
The pressure, intensity and precision of Eusebio's men was too much for Barcelona, and Real Sociedad would get that 2-0 lead when former Real Madrid man Sergio Canales found a cutting Juanmi, whose shot deflected off the foot of Vermaelen and in for the goal. But one man who Barcelona has been able to turn to this season in times of trouble has been Paulinho, and once again the Brazilian complied on Sunday, receiving a Luis Suarez cross from the left and poking it in past Rulli to cut the deficit 2-1 in the latter stages of the first-half.The goal gave Barcelona a badly-needed confidence boost, and things had a much different feel at the start of the second-half. It was Barcelona who were moving forward, and a break led by Messi earned the equaliser, as the Argentine fed Suarez on the left and the Uruguayan curled 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 just a question of time. It came via an error from goalkeeper Rulli,
who played a ball into the middle of the field that was headed forward by Vermaelen and Suarez swooped in finished with aplomb to give Barcelona their first lead at 3-2.Barcelona were keen to finish things off and extinguish their Anoeta ghosts once and for all. Messi was happy to apply the finishing touch, via an inch-perfect free kick that he spun over the Real Sociedad wall and into the top left corner of the net to complete the 4-2 scoreline.