Barcelona took a point's lead over Real Madrid in the Spanish title race on Saturday afternoon, though could fall behind their rivals ahead of the upcoming Clasico following their draw 2-2 at Real Sociedad.
Sociedad started much the better team and won a penalty after 12 minutes when Sergio Busquets pulled down Diego Llorente in the penalty area. Mikel Oyarzabal stepped up and confidently dispatched the spot kick.
Barca really struggled to get going for the first 45 minutes, with Sociedad controlling possession and the game in general. However, with just seven minutes left of the half, Barca hit their opponents on the break and Antoine Griezmann delicately chipped the ball over Alex Remiro to make it 1-1.
The reigning champions then came out of the blocks quickly in the second half, as Lionel Messi was played in one on one with the goalkeeper after a sublime pass from Busquets. However, the little magician opted to pass to Luis Suarez next to him, who tapped into an open net to give his side the lead.
Despite that goal, La Real continued to be the better team, and they grabbed the equaliser midway through the half when Alexander Isak scored following a rare error from the usually exceptional Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Sociedad had a number of chances fall their way during the remainder of the game, but failed to get a third goal as the game ended 2-2. A poor result for Barca, but considering the way they played, they might just take that result.
Substitutes: Januzaj (6), Jose (6), Barrenetxea (N/A).
Key Talking Point
With the El Clasico fast approaching, Real Madrid and Barcelona were locked level on points at the top of La Liga. Ernesto Valverde's men knew that they couldn't afford to drop points ahead of the game, and a win here would be pivotal in carrying over the momentum for Wednesday.
However, Barca failed to turn up. Sociedad were by far the better team on the day, having more possession than their opponents and having over twice as many shots. The result will be a dent in their confidence and also ends their seven game winning run, which makes the game against Madrid on Wednesday even more crucial now.
What a match we have in store.
Starting XI: Ter Stegen (5); Roberto (6), Pique (8), Lenglet (6), Alba (5); Rakitic (5), Busquets (6), De Jong (6); Messi (7), Suarez (7); Griezmann (9*).
Griezmann is yet to fully hit his stride since moving to Barcelona, but today showed that maybe he is finally ready to showcase the player that he can be. He was a real live-wire, picking up spaces intelligently in between Sociedad's defence and midfield and influencing proceedings in what was a very tricky game.
His touches throughout were magnificent as he wowed the crowd with a number of superb pieces of play. He also bagged Barca's first goal which, was a delicious little chip - signalling the renewed confidence of the player. Hopefully this performance is now a sign of things to come for the Frenchman.
Griezmann is having a game of note! Wow! #RealSociedadBarca— AmorFlowersZA (@AmorFlowersZA) December 14, 2019
Griezmann is so fucking good— Griezmann Chief (@Griezmannility) December 14, 2019
What a fuckin control by Griezmann, he’s on fire today— D10S (@jrsayedd) December 14, 2019
Real Sociedad now have a game in the Copa Del Rey against Becerril on Thursday, before they head to CA Osasuna next Sunday for another league game.
Barcelona's next game is the huge occasion of the Clasico on Wednesday night - which could go some way to deciding who will win La Liga this season.