Here the Catalan team had won the last time at the end of the season 2006/2007. After “Real Sosiedad” returned to Premier in 2010, these teams had played 7 matches with each other and 5 matches had been won by Basques, and two matches had ended in a draw. During two last matches at “Anoeta” Barcelona was not even able to score, except the own goal by Jordi Alba.
Both teams didn’t have serious squad problems before the match. Pardo and Bergara because of injuries couldn’t play for “Real Sosiedad”, and Catalans had already got used to play without the injured captain Iniesta. Also Umtiti didn’t participate, but Mascherano had managed to gain very good form therefore “Barcelona” didn’t think that there would be any defense problems.
But despite the fact that “Barcelona” was playing with its first XI we didn’t see the usual game of Luís Enrique’s team. It was absolutely uninteresting for football players that they were playing with the favourite and the current champion – Basques were playing at home, and acted on the field as though they really owned this place – they tried to create the moments at Ter Stegen’s gates. However “Barcelona” kept it tight at the back and was coping with the pressure rather easily. The team of Eusebio Sacristan had managed to create some half-moments during the half time when Xabier Prieto had quite good opportunities, and then Vela and Martinez had got the opportunity.
As for Catalans, they have managed to level a game only by the end of the first half, having raised the ball possessing percent from 42% to 47%, and also having sent first two shots towards the gates of the opponent. The first was inexact, and the second was blocked. The unpleasant facts of the first half are Alba and Pique’s injuries. All thought that the substitutes will be necessary for these players. However doctors were able to help both football players.
After the interval, the situation at the field didn’t change. “Barcelona” continued to play half-asleep, waiting for its opportunities while Basques waited for nothing, but did a lot. And soon activity and efforts of football players of “Real Sosiedad” embodied in a goal – Vela had slipped into the penalty area, shot on Ter Stegen who rushed towards and from whom the ball ricocheted on the head of Willian. José headed from 13 meters on free gates, and Pique who has managed to get to the goal line couldn’t do anything.
This missed goal has influenced favourably on Catalan team which realized that there was the rivals’ gate and the team added at pace. Luís Enrique’s team was lucky to equalize, just before an hour of the playing time has expired, Neymar had broken the left wing, outplayed two rivals and then precisely shot to the penalty area on Messi who by the first touch had earned the ball and then he shot a ball to the right corner. No chances for Rulli.
After an equalizer champions didn’t manage to get into the zone. The game was calm, but became more viscous and the ball started to reach both gates more often. Nevertheless, by the end of the match the team has managed to score the second goal – Vela shot from a distance, the ball rebounded from the crossbar on the field and Juan Jimenez finished this combination, but referees unfairly cancelled a goal because of unreal offside. Few minutes later referees didn’t notice two meter offside of Denis Suarez, but in this episode one of defenders who kicked out a ball from a goal line had managed to restore justice.
The last minutes of a match appeared to be very hard for Basques – the team was very tired, but nevertheless it didn’t stop its attempt to go forward, wishing to outplay the champion. Granero could become the hero of the match but he shot in hands of Ter Stegen. But the match ended in a draw with the score 1:1. “Barcelona” stays behind “Real” Madrid by 6 points as for now, and “Real Sosiedad” remained on the fifth place in the standings.