Real Sociedad 0-1 FC Barcelona: Last-gasp victory

Real Sociedad 0-1 FC Barcelona: Last-gasp victory

Ronald Araujo heads home an injury time winner to snatch three points from an extremely difficult situation

FC Barcelona have pulled off an extraordinary escape act at the Reale Arena.

They have claimed three absolutely crucial points from a game that was an uphill struggle from start to finish and in which they could count themselves fortunate not to be trailing against a Real Sociedad side that was getting all the big chances.

But deep into injury time and with just seconds left before the game ended 0-0, Ronald Araujo rode to meet a Ilkay Gündogan to head home.


Araujo the saviour

To add to the drama, the goals was originally given offside, and it certainly seemed that way when viewed live. But following a VAR review it was revealed that there was nothing wrong with Uruguayan’s position and Barça had won the game in the most extraordinary of manners.

It had been far from a brilliant performance from the blaugrana, wearing yellow today, and Real Sociedad could very easily have been a goal or two up by that stage. But they weren't. Thanks to a combination of solid goalkeeping, gritty defending and the occasional splash of good fortune, Barça held on and as the home side began to run out of steam in the last ten minutes, they pouched to unleash the killer blow.

Late flurry

They almost had it when Araujo’s thundered shot from outside of the area was saved by Álex Remiro. It was the first time the Real goalkeeper had been properly tested all game, and moments later he was needed again to prevent what had looked a certain goal for Gavi.

The Barça of the last few minutes had nothing to do with the one that had struggled through the rest of the game. But once again, we were reminded that even when the team isn’t playing at its best, this team has individuals of such quality that they can still get the job done.

Deep trouble

The warning signs that this was going to a difficult game had come very early. Just two minutes into the game and Ter Stegen had already had to make two critical saves.

The keeper was in for a busy night, and Barça were fortunate to get through it unscathed. Real Sociedad had the possession and were turning it into chances with alarming regularity.

Neither side would have been happy with the way things were going. Barça just couldn’t get comfortable at all, while Real were getting increasingly more frustrated by their inability to turn anything of what was happening into goals.

Pedri back

With Pedri making his long-awaited return from injury as a second half substitute, there was certainly a progressive improvement in the visitors' football as the game progressed, but without it really producing much to get excited about.

Instead most of the real drama was happening in and around their own area Real Sociedad, and as the minutes ticked by, it began to look like a single point mightn’t be such a bad thing as opposed to none.

But Barça are not the kind of team to settle for a draw. Ever. And especially considering  the situation at the top of the league table.

They needed the win. They refused to stop believing. And they did it.

Victory in the face of adversity

Indeed, a beaming Ter Stegen admitted after the game that "I'm not sure we really deserved that!" But we all know that football is a funny old game. For as Xavi commented, "last week against Madrid we lost a game we deserved to win, and tonight we won a game we deserved to lose. These things happen in football."

That nerve-racking experience now behind us, next up is Shakthar in the Champions League on Tuesday and then it’s Alavés back at the Estadi Olimpic at the weekend.

Força Barça
Força Barça

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