After suffering two-straight defeats and their point-gap against second-placed Atletico Madrid shortening to just three, Barcelona no longer has a stranglehold on their domestic title.
The Catalans were expected to bounce back from their derby defeat to Real Madrid, as well as an underwhelming draw with Villarreal, with a victory against mid-table Real Sociedad. In fact, the hosts were never favored for even a draw.
But they managed an early winner through Mikel Oyarzabal’s header, and they defended manfully throughout the game. Barca’s attacking trio appeared tamed: both Neymar and Lionel Messi struggled, while Luis Suarez was banned from playing following a suspension.
Messi wasted a number of chances to get his 500th career goal as Barca registered just five shots on target. The diva had missed his chance yet again to hit the benchmark since four games ago.
On the other hand, 2nd placed Atletico Madrid and 3rd placed Real Madrid scored emphatic wins of their own to slowly advance on points.
Cristiano Ronaldo stars for Real Madrid as he took the honour of the first player to score 30 goals in six consecutive La Liga seasons in their victory against Eibar, scoring the 3rd in Real’s 4-0 win.
Atletico themselves registered a valiant attitude as they strived to for a 3-1 comeback win against Eibar. Espanyol’s Pape Diop headed in his third goal in as many games to give the hosts the lead near the half-hour mark but Fernando Torres expertly controlled Koke’s lobbed pass before driving in the equaliser in the 35th minute.
Antoine Griezmann put the visitors in charge by scoring off the upright after a brilliant buildup between Koke and Torres in the 58th minute, and the duo connected again to seal the win with two minutes left. This time, the Spanish striker passed to Koke for a header, topping off their superb joint performance.