Gone are the days when the Anoeta stadium was a bottleneck in Barca’s La Liga campaigns in the past. But, not anymore; thanks to a rejuvenated Barca team led by Ronald Koeman and his captain, Lionel Messi.
Prior to the game, three Barca players had earlier celebrated their birthdays on the day – Jordi Alba, Antoine Griezmann and Ronald Koeman. Okay, sorry, Koeman is now the coach and not a player anymore. Not a lot of club’s can boast of three of their players having a birthday on the same day and then going on to deliver a masterpiece performance at a stadium that is always hostile and unwelcoming.
In the game, Griezmann opened the scoring charts for the night after Ousmane Dembele missed what many will regard as a simple tap in. Well, Dembele will have Birthday boy, Griezmann to thank for sparing his blushes. Expectedly, Griezmann didn’t celebrate against the club that club that brought him to limelight after he scored the opener.
Well, guess who rightfully deserved the assist? It’s another Birthday boy, Jordi Alba. Alba’s cross should have been easily converted by Dembele but the keeper blocked his shot. The ball then bounced off the goalkeeper and landed on Griezmann’s foot.
The French forward wasted no time in burying the ball in the back of the net to open the door for the night of goals at the Anoeta.
• TWO BRACES
Hearing that Messi scored a brace in a match will not be news anymore to many, but I’m sure you will blink and look again if it was a defender that did that, wouldn’t you? Well, that is the case for Barca’s new acquisition, Sergino Dest.
The young American scored Barca’s second goal after a wonderful set up by Lionel Messi following his own timed run into the 18 yard box of La Real. Dest powered a well placed level shot past the goalkeeper of Real Sociedad to register his first goal of the night.
In similar circumstances in the second half of the game, Dest will also latch on to a cross into the oppositions half, stepping in time to redirect a La Real defenders attempt to clear the ball into the back of the night.
• Dembele Spared His Own Blushes.
Missing a clear sitter may be a moral booster for Dembele who’s wonderful first goal of the night was ruled off for offside after a Dembele kind of run.
But, the chalking of his goal never deterred Dembele’s desire in the game – to continue his good run of form. This resulted in the young forward taking on several Real Sociedad players as he dazzled through their defense before burying a fine effort into the back of the net. Reminds me of Messi.
Talking about Messi, the Argentine also officially became the player with the highest appearance for Barca after his 768th game for the Catalan giants, overtaking Xavi Hernandez in the process.
Real Sociedad had come into the game hoping to cause an upset following the club’s wonderful run of form in recent games which has earned them a 5th place in the league. However, they were handed a brutal 1 – 6 defeat by FC Barcelona which La Real will not forget in a hurry in their home turf. The loss to Barca has practically ensured that 4th place finish for the Basque based outfit is now a distant dream. At the moment, Real Sociedad sit 5th in the La Liga table.
FC Barcelona will look to continue their impressive form after the international breaks when they face Real Madrid in El Clasico.