FC Barcelona are no longer league leaders after the team’s third defeat of the season – 3-1 against Real Sociedad at Anoeta this evening. It was a grim night for Barça, who were chasing the game for most of the 90 minutes and never looked comfortable against a Real Sociedad who were lethal on the break.
The defeat leaves Barça three points behind Real Madrid, who top the table ahead of Atletico Madrid’s game in Pamplona on Sunday. A win or a draw for Simeone’s team against Osasuna would leave Barça on third place.
Gerardo Martino made six changes to the team who won in Manchester on Tuesday, with Song playing as the holding midfielder and Busquets in an inside right role, whilst Xavi and Cesc started on the bench and Montoya, Bartra, Adriano and Neymar were back in the starting line up .
Whether it was all the changes, or Real’s good performance, Barça looked off the pace form the off, enjoying plenty of possession, but without creating much danger, as Real began to create chances on the break through Vela and Griezmann.
The hosts got their reward on the half hour when Elustondo and Song bundled in a cross from the right from Vela, but Barça hit back immediately with a carefully crafted Messi strike from the edge of the box.
Worse was to come at the break for Barça, when Martino was shown a red card in the tunnel and the second half was even grimmer, with Real’s speedy causing all kinds of problems, culminating in a Griezmann goal on 54 minutes and five minutes later a third from Zurutuza, ghosting in at the far post to beat Valdes,
Barça were unable to come back from that double blow and even tough Martino pulled Martino off and switched to a three man defence, they couldn’t break down the well organised Real back line.