Real Sociedad – FC Barcelona: Unglamorous Win For Barcelona Against Energetic Sociedad (0-1)
Real Sociedad posed a challenge to Barcelona with a high tempo start to the match, although the away side went ahead and were able to gain some control over the game thanks to their structural adaptations. Sociedad came on strong again in the second half and forced Barcelona to defend deep, but Xavi’s side were able to see out a 1-0 win.
Tactical analysis and match report by Josh Manley.
The impressive run of form put together in the early months of 2022 by Xavi’s Barcelona was brought to an end in the past week with Barcelona’s Europa League elimination at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt, followed by defeat at home to Cádiz.
They faced what promised to be a tough test in the form of Real Sociedad, who have proven to be a tough side to beat at home this season. Sociedad started with a 4-3-1-2 shape for this match, with a back four of Joseba Zaldúa, Igor Zubeldia, Robin Le Normand and Diego Rico. In midfield, Martin Zubimendi was central, with Mikel Merino and Adnan Januzaj either side of him. Former Barcelona man Rafinha started as number ten behind a forward duo of Alexander Sørloth and Alexander Isak.
Meanwhile Barcelona started nominally in a 4-3-3 system with Dani Alves and Jordi Alba . . .