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Player ratings as Barca jump into second place

Lamine Yamal’s strike and Raphinha’s late penalty helped Barcelona beat Real Sociedad 2-0 on Monday evening to climb above Girona into second place in La Liga.

Barca were frustrated for large periods by La Real but eventually went ahead in the 40th minute when Yamal tucked in and the job was completed late on when Raphinha slammed in from 12 yards after the visitors were penalised for handball.

The three points take Xavi Hernandez’s side back above Girona into second place, while Sociedad are down in seventh.

How the game unfolded

Barca immediately threatened in the opening two minutes as Pedri slid in Raphinha who looked for Robert Lewandowski, but Jon Aramburu was well placed to clear the danger.

Sociedad showed their own attacking teeth moments later as Mikel Oyarzabal set up Sheraldo Becker, who beat Pau Cubarsi but showed no composure in blasting his shot into the stands.

Xavi’s side were stifled effectively by the visitors and clear-cut chances were few and far between before Marc-Andre ter Stegen was called into action. Becker held off Cubarsi well and fired towards goal, but the German goalkeeper reacted well to claw the shot away from danger.

Barca finally produced some liquid football just before the half-hour mark as Yamal combined well with Ilkay Gundogan out wide. However, Jon Pacheco slid in just in the nick of time to stop the move progressing any further.

Gundogan was involved as Barca went close again shortly after, laying off Raphinha who struck the post before the German midfielder lifted over on the rebound, but the hosts were rewarded for their improvement when their teenage prodigy opened the scoring.

Lewandowski found Gundogan, who charged forward before crossing for Yamal. The young winger found the bottom corner for his fifth La Liga goal of the season.

Half-time came and went and the game was largely chance-less until the 65th minute when Sociedad goalkeeper Alex Remiro made an impressive save. Pedri pulled the strings to pick out Raphinha who shot from distance, but Remiro shuffled across to divert it behind.

Brais Mendez might have dragged Sociedad level when the otherwise impressive Gundogan handed the attacker the ball close to goal. Mendez beat a few players but couldn’t hit the target, instead dragging his effort wide of Ter Stegen’s goal.

Ferran Torres nearly doubled Barca’s lead mere moments later after his introduction from the bench but saw Remiro push his strike away from danger, queuing outrage from Fermin Lopez who had demanded the lay-off.

Sociedad couldn’t muster any further response and instead saw the losing margin increase in second-half stoppage time as Xavi’s side were given a penalty. Alvaro Odriozola blocked Raphinha’s free-kick with his arm and the Brazilian stepped up with Lewandowski off the field, blasting his effort into the bottom corner to wrap up the night’s work.


Raphinha rattled in from the penalty spot / LLUIS GENE/GettyImages

GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 7/10 – Bagged a deserved clean sheet, making three important saves, and distributed well from the back.

RB: Jules Kounde – 7/10 – Kept the usually dangerous Oyarzabal quiet with another steady and assured performance at right-back.

CB: Pau Cubarsi – 7/10 – Endured a couple of moments where he was beaten for strength but often made up for it with his game intelligence and positioning.

CB: Inigo Martinez – 7/10 – Proved a decent foil for the young Cubarsi, offering his experience at the back to good effect.

LB: Joao Cancelo – 7/10 – A stout performance from the Portugal international, who made three tackles. Couldn’t quite summon up anything outrageous in the final third.

CM: Pedri – 7/10 – Played some gorgeous defence-splitting passes and Sociedad’s midfield had difficulty getting close to him when he hit full stride.

CM: Andreas Christensen – 6/10 – Made midfield stodgy and was a valuable aerial presence.

CM: Ilkay Gundogan – 7/10 – Scooped his eighth La Liga assist of the campaign and was at the heart of some of Barca’s more enterprising attacks.

RW: Lamine Yamal – 8/10 – Showed great composure for his goal and was never shy of taking on his opposition defender, giving Aramburu plenty of grief throughout.

ST: Robert Lewandowski – 6/10 – Constantly won long balls in the air but had just one shot on target which mustered up only 0.02 of xG.

LW: Raphinha – 8/10 – Unlucky to hit the woodwork but got the goal his performance deserved late on with a well-struck penalty.


Sergi Roberto (70′ for Christensen) – 6/10

Fermin Lopez (70′ for Pedri) – 6/10

Ferran Torres (77′ for Lewandowski) – 5/10

Oriol Romeu (94′ for Gundogan) – N/A

Subs not used: Diego Kochen, Hector Fort, Inaki Pena, Joao Felix, Marcos Alonso, Ronald Araujo, Vitor Roque.


Xavi Hernandez – 7/10 – Saw his side eventually break down a difficult Sociedad outfit and jump back into second place in La Liga with all three points. Job done.

Player of the match: Lamine Yamal (Barcelona)


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