Barcelona 2-1 Real Sociedad: 5 Talking Points
Barcelona edged a step closer to sealing their second successive La Liga title, and seventh domestic triumph since the 2008/09 campaign, after a hard-fought 2-1 win against Real Sociedad on Saturday evening.
French centre-back Clement Lenglet broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time, heading home his first Barca goal. Fullback Jordi Alba applied the finishing touch after a mazy individual run through midfield to restore their slender advantage following Juanmi's tidy finish levelled the scores just two minutes earlier.
With five matches remaining, Ernesto Valverde's side only need six more points to mathematically ensure that closest rivals Atletico Madrid can no longer catch them, after Atleti's 1-0 away win over Eibar in one of the day's earlier fixtures. Without further ado though, let's take an extended look at five talking points from Barca's latest win:
#5 Sociedad with work to do to fulfil their European ambitions
Real Sociedad fought hard and to their credit, valiantly against the league leaders. It proved futile though and given their European ambitions this term, questions must be asked after a performance like this.
They started slowly and rather than to take the game to Barcelona - who themselves were playing fatigued in the early exchanges - were more concerned about their defensive efficiency and having adequate numbers back to deal with their hosts' counter-attacking prowess.
It was this mindset that gave Barca players the confidence within themselves that they could score at will and if for better service in the final third, they probably would have done before Lenglet's header.
With only six points separating Athletic Bilbao in seventh (46 points) and 13th-placed Eibar, every point could prove pivotal in Sociedad's race for Europe. Despite missing a few key players, they have important games against Getafe, Alaves and Espanyol before the season's end: no easy games on their schedule.
So naturally, this game was one they needed to earn a result in. Adopting a defence-heavy tactic only proved to stifle their own attacks and present Barcelona with more opportunities to break them down.