Published: Sun, April 16, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Barcalona keep pressure on Real Madrid with thrilling Real Sociedad win

Barcalona keep pressure on Real Madrid with thrilling Real Sociedad win

Lionel Messi put in a man-of-the-match performance to help Barcelona return to winning ways after consecutive defeats against Malaga and Juventus as they beat Real Sociedad 3-2 at Camp Nou.

Paco Alcacer made it 3-1 before Xabi Prieto pulled one back.

With Madrid having earlier beaten Sporting Gijon after a late goal from Isco, the tension was firmly back on Luis Enrique's side who had lost their last two matches.

The goal was Messi's 28th in as many games in the league this season and his sixth strike from outside the penalty area.

The hosts almost found themselves trailing inside the first few minutes when Mikel Oyarzabal's goalbound shot was cleared off the line by Gerard Pique. He is Barcelona's leading scorer in the league with Luis Suarez trailing him on 23 and Neymar way behind on nine.

The Argentina worldwide struck twice in the first half to take his tally for the Catalans to 498 goals in all competitions, before an own goal from Samuel Umtiti shortly before the break helped the Basque side back in the game.

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Sociedad, aiming to close up on the European places, reduced the deficit in the 42nd minute.

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Catalan giants Barcelona are preparing for a huge summer of business as they try to address this season's inconsistent form, according to reports in Spain.

Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta replaced Andre Gomes with 20 minutes left as Enrique aimed to inject fresh life into his team.

In the 70th minute, Asier Illarramendi nearly scored a wonder goal from the halfway line, catching ter Stegen out with a free-kick, before the German goalkeeper tipped his effort over the bar.

Yuri Berchiche fired over when well placed in stoppage time, while and Suarez was denied by Rulli's legs at the other end as Barca ultimately got the job done.

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