LUIS ENRIQUE’S LINEUP. The coach had said before the match that Barça’s last five games — six if they get to Berlin — were all like final matches. Saturday’s starting lineup had five changes from the team that beat Bayern on Tuesday. Bravo, Bartra, Adriano, Xavi, and Rafinha replaced Ter Stegen, Alba, Sergio, Iniesta and Rakitic.
CLUTCH GOAL. After a first half in which FC Barcelona could not score, Neymar’s goal at the beginning of the second half came at a key moment. Barça played most of the second half ahead on the scoreboard without the uncertainty that comes with 0-0 score in the final stretch of the match.
PEDRO. If there is one player who always gives, it is Pedro Rodríguez. The striker came on in the final ten minutes and scored the goal that ensured victory. And it wasn’t just any old goal — Pedro netted a spectacular bicycle kick similar to the one Luis Suárez scored against Levante.
SEVENTH STRAIGHT SHUTOUT. Whether Ter Stegen or Claudio Bravo is in net, the fact of the matter is that the Barça goalkeepers always convey a feeling of maximum security. Saturday’s clean sheet against Real Sociedad is the team’s seventh in a row. The last goal they gave up was at Parc des Princes.
TORRID SECOND HALF. Four months ago FC Barcelona fell 1–0 at Anoeta. Since then, the team has been almost perfect — 17 wins, 1 draw (with Sevilla) and 1 loss (to Málaga