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First Division - Day 17

Real Sociedad 1 - Barcelona 0

Real: Rulli; Carlos Martínez, Ansotegi, Iñigo Martínez, De la Bella; Granero, Bergara; Xabi Prieto, Canales (Yuri 93‘), Chory Castro (Finnbogason 66‘); Carlos Vela (Rubén Pardo 90‘). 4-2-3-1.
Barcelona: Bravo; Montoya, Mascherano, Matthieu (Dani Alves 70’), Jordi Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Munir (Messi 46‘), Luis Suárez, Pedro (Neymar 58’). 4-3-3.

1-0. 02. Jordi Alba (own goal). Header past own keeper from Canales cross.

Yellow cards: Mathieu 34’, Carlos Vela 39’, Iñigo Martínez 43’, Granero 51’, Dani Alves 76’, Jordi Alba 89’, Bergara 92’, Neymar 93’.

Barcelona missed out on a chance to return to the top of the table after Real Madrid’s defeat earlier in the day, the Blaugrana losing 1-0 at Real Sociedad in the last match on Sunday evening. Luis Enrique controversially left Messi and Neymar on the bench at the start, but the move backfired when Jordi Alba headed a Canales cross in to his own net in only the second minute. Xavi fired a free kick over the top and Pedro also shot wide, and Iñigo Martínez was let off a penalty appeal when the ball hit him on the arm, but only a good save by ex Real keeper Bravo prevented Canales from adding a second shortly before the break, and Luis Enrique turned to Messi at the interval and Neymar soon afterwards. Rulli and a packed defence kept the Catalans at bay after that though, the keeper in particular making two great stops from Luis Suárez, and although Neymar cheekily won the ball off him to score in injury time, the referee disallowed the goal and booked the striker. Once again Barça had failed in Anoeta (their recent league record is one draw and five defeats), and with Atlético winning the day before, only one point now separates the top three. A great result however for David Moyes, and his team move five points clear of the relegation spots pending the Monday night game.