Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Jordi Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, André Gomes (Iniesta 69’); Messi, Luis Suárez, Paco Alcácer (Denis Suárez 79’). 4-3-3.
Real Sociedad: Rulli; Zaldúa, Raúl Navas, Iñigo Martínez, Yuri; Xabi Prieto, Illarramendi, Zurutuza; Carlos Vela (Canales 62‘), Willian José (Jon Bautista 69’), Oyarzabal. 4-3-3.
1-0. 03. Messi. Collected Luis Suárez pass and fired low shot wide of Rulli.
2-0. 36. Messi. Turned in rebound after Rulli saved shot from Luis Suárez.
2-1. 43. Umtiti (own goal). Iñigo shot which went in off Ter Stegen and Umtiti.
3-1. 44. Alcácer. Picked up Messi pass and struck angled shot past keeper.
3-2. 45. Xabi Prieto. Steered shot past keeper after Willan José centred from left.
Yellow cards: Carlos Vela 07’, Alcácer 41’, Illarramendi 49’, Luis Suárez 68’, Piqué 88’.
Second placed Barcelona stay three points behind leaders Real Madrid, albeit having played a game more, after a 3-2 win against Real Sociedad on Saturday evening. All the goals came in the first half, Messi opening the scoring with a low shot from the edge of the area, and then adding a second after Rulli blocked a shot from Luis Suárez. With three minutes to go to the break though Umtiti deflected the ball in to his own net after a shot by Iñigo Martínez from a wide angle came off Ter Stegen, and although Paco Alcácer combined with Messi to score a third for the locals, Xabi Prieto reduced the gap again on the stroke of half time. After the interval Luis Enrique’s side had several chances to increase the lead, Rulli in particular saving from Messi, Rakitic and Luis Suárez, but the visitors also could have saved a point, especially with a shot by Iñigo Martínez from the half-way line which Ter Stegen just managed to tip over the bar. A morale boosting victory after the midweek Champions League defeat at Juventus, but a difficult week ahead for the Blaugrana, with the return leg against Juventus followed by the latest “clásico” in the Bernabeu stadium. The defeat though leaves Real (who have not won in Nou Camp in 24 years) down in eighth spot, and they need to get their European campaign back on track in the coming weeks.