Barcelona came from behind to beat Real Sociedad 2-1 at home on Wednesday, December 16.
Barça created plenty of chances in the first half and went behind against the run of play. Griezmann tried a cheeky volley lob that whistled just wide in the opening minutes, while Pedri headed a good chance just off-target.
Real Sociedad then took the lead just before the half hour mark from a corner. The ball in was headed down to Portu who slid the ball across goal for Willian Jose to knock home at the far post.
The visitors’ lead was short-lived as Alba equalized in some style. Griezmann took the ball down in the box and played the ball back across goal. Pedri just managed to touch it into Alba’s path and he curled it into the top corner.
The chances then continue to flow. Griezmann rounded the goalkeeper and fired a shot onto the crossbar, while Pedri sent Martin Braithwaite through on goal but he could only fire a great chance over the bar.
It was left to De Jong to put Barca in front right before half-time. The Dutchman tapped home Alba’s deflected cross from close range but originally saw his effort disallowed for offside. Yet it was eventually given after a VAR check showed he was miles onside.
The chances continued to come after the break. Griezmann had two good opportunities at the start of the second half to net against his former team but could not take either. The second he somehow managed to tap back to Remiro with the goal gaping.
A bit of a lull followed with the two teams making substitutions. Koeman opted to send on Carles Alena and Francisco Trincao for the last 25 minutes, giving Griezmann and Sergio Busquets a bit of a breather.
Real Sociedad started to see more of the ball and needed Pedri to come racing across goal to deny Alexander Isak. The teenager ended up crashing heavily into the goalpost and did manage to get back to his feet but was replaced by Miralem Pjanic for the last 15 minutes.
The visitors keep on coming as Barca wobbled in the closing stages. Nacho Monreal fired wide at the far post, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen was needed to make a great double stop with just six minutes of normal time remaining.
Yet Barca did manage to hang on to seal an important win that moves them into fifth place in the table. It’s also the first time Barca have come from behind to win since Koeman took charge.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Dest, Araujo, Mingueza (Lenglet), Alba; De Jong, Busquets (Alena); Griezmann (Trincao), Pedri (Pjanic), Braithwaite; Messi
Goals: Alba (31’), De Jong (43’)
Real Sociedad: Remiro; Gorosabel, Zubeldia, Le Normand, Monreal; Guevara (Navarro), Zubimendi, Merino; Januzaj (Barrenetxea), Willian Jose, Portu (Isak).
Goal: Jose (27’)