Sociedad failed to put up much of a fight on the night, with Barcelona coasting to an aggregate victory, although they were pegged back by Antoine Griezmann late in game, who gave Jagoba Arrasate’s side a draw.
After a decent start by Sociedad it was Barcelona that took the lead, with Lionel Messi breaking from the halfway line to fire a shot at goal from the edge of the box. But after making the initial save the ball rebounded off the back of Enaut Zubikarai’s head and into the net.
However, the home side found a consolation goal late in the second half when Griezmann smashes home after a rapid counter attack by Chory Castro and Xabi Prieto.
28’ GOAL – Messi drives at the opposition defence after a loose pass, but after beating two players his shot looks set to be saved. But it squirms under Zubikarai!
35’ CHANCE – So close for Sociedad! A cross into the box finds Vela at the back post, who makes a scuffed connection with the ball, but it's almost enough to turn it goalwards, with Alves clearing for a corner kick.
41’ DISALLOWED – Barca have the ball in the net but it's been called offside. Messi plays the ball into Iniesta who in turn plays a wonderful little backheel flick around the corner to Alves, with the fullback putting it through the legs of the keeper. But he was about 10 yards offside.
53’ CLOSE – Inches past the post! Iniest and Messi play a neat little one-two on the edge of the Sociedad box, but when Iniesta lines up the shot from 20 yards he flashes his effort just past the target. Close.
55’ WOODWORK – Sociedad hit the woodwork! Unbelievably Vela hits the bar from about 30 yards out from way out on the right wing. He hooked it towards goal from an incredible angle and smahes the ball off the bar with Pinto rooted.
57’ DOUBLE SAVE – Great double save by Zubikarai! First Messi draws a stop out of the Sociedad keeper, and when the ball breaks to Fabregas he looks certain to score. But Zubikarai gets up again to make the save!
76’ CHANCE – Another good save! Alves plays a neat little one-two with Messi on the edge of the box, creating a one-on-one situation for himself, but from close range Alves hits his shot straight at Zubikarai.
87’ CONSOLATION GOAL - What a strike! Canales releases Castro, who cuts the ball back to Griezmann, who lashes the ball past Pinto! That's more like it!
Xavi completed more passes (59) in the first half than Real Sociedad played in the opposition half (44).
Lionel Messi is one goal away from breaking the record for most goals by any one player for any one Spanish team (he equaled Telmo Zarra’s record of 335 goals for Athletic tonight).
Was this Barca’s strongest starting XI? Martino fielded an extremely strong starting line-up to see his team through to the Copa final, Neymar is out with injury but are Barcelona better with Fabregas in the side? The midfield trio of Busquets, Iniesta and Xavi controlled and dictated the game, with Pedro giving Barca pace on the right side.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Dani Alves (Barcelona): The Brazilian full-back was a constant threat down the right wing, giving his teammates an attacking outlet and stretching the playing surface. He was caught out on the counter at times but his attacking threat outweighed his rare defensive lapses.
Real Sociedad: Zubikarai 6, Zaldua 5, Gonzalez 5, Ansotegi 6, Angel 4, Gaztanaga 5, Zurutuza 5, Vela 7, Prieto 6, Griezmann 7, Seferovic 5. Subs: Castro 6, Elustondo 4.
Barcelona: Pinto 6, Alves 7, Mascherano 5, Pique, 5, Alba 4, Busquets 6, Xavi 6, Iniesta 7, Pedro 7, Fabregas 6, Messi 7. Subs: Song 5.
- Sports & Recreation
- Real Sociedad
- Lionel Messi
- Real Madrid