FC Barcelona 1–2 Real Sociedad: Celebration in defeat

FC Barcelona 1–2 Real Sociedad: Celebration in defeat

The first home defeat of the season hurts but ultimately doesn't matter for a side that is already confirmed champion for the 27th time

In their first home defeat of the Liga season, FC Barcelona conceded as many goals at Spotify Camp Nou as they had done in all 18 games in the stadium until now.

Of course, ultimately none of it matters because the Liga title has already been won. This result could well be put down to a certain amount of loss of intensity, coupled with the fact that a win mattered much more for their visitors, who are fighting to hold onto fourth place and a Champions League berth.

Indeed, the fans refused to let the result dampen their party, with plenty of chants ofcampeones, campeones to accompany the team back to the stadium for the first time as Liga 2022/23 champions, a prelude for the after-match fiesta and the trophy presentation.


Early setback

Barça’s defending has been so extraordinarily tight this season that it was something of a surprise to see them caught napping when the game was just five minutes old.

Jules Kounde lost the ball to Alexander Sørloth in midfield. The Norwegian then picked out an unmarked Mikel Merino, who was able to make beating Ter Stegen look easy.

But it isn’t. This was the first goal a visiting player had scored from open play all season at Spotify Camp Nou. The only other two goals conceded at home had been a penalty and an own goal.

Chances squandered

The pressure may have been off Barça for this one, but they weren’t going to let themselves get beaten that easily. In an extremely entertaining game of football, the response was a very strong one. The Catalans produced chance after chance. And playing with a pretty much full-strength XI, some of those were very good ones too.

Franck Kessie came frustratingly close on two occasions, and headers from both Ousmane Dembélé and Robert Lewandowski looked to be going in but didn’t.

That’s not to say that Real weren’t also making a contribution. Ander Barrenetxea and Mohamed-Ali Cho both suffered reminders of why Ter Stegen is almost certainly going to be collecting his first Zamora Trophy in a few weeks’ time.

Two down

As the game progressed, Real looked more and more content to sit back and defend their lead as best they could. But Barça’s constant attacks seemed to be producing less and less rather than more and more of consequence... and instead they got caught on the break.

It was three against three and nobody picked up Sørloth. Real became the first team to score twice at Spotify Camp Nou this league season.

Lewandowski pulls one back

It was a rather strange mood inside the stadium. The team was losing but the fans insisted on treating the game as a celebration regardless. And just as a Mexican wave was getting started on the terraces... boom!

A lovely little move from Ferran Torres down the right and he whipped a cross just where Lewandowski likes it. And the Pole was there heading in a goal that takes him one step closer to the Pichichi trophy. That's 22 he has now.

Maybe Real Sociedad weren’t going to get their first victory here since 1991 after all… There was suddenly a very different vibe to the stadium as Barça drove forward in search of something more against a very nervous looking opponent.

Real held on. Just. A great result for them. And for Barça, annoying, but no disaster. They trophy had already been won and was waiting for collection up in the directors’ box. Cue celebrations...

Força Barça
Força Barça

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