Premier League

Player ratings as Barca jump into second place

Player ratings as Barca jump into second place

Lamine Yamal’s strike and Raphinha’s late penalty helped Barcelona beat Real Sociedad 2-0 on Monday evening to climb above Girona into second place in La Liga.

Barca were frustrated for large periods by La Real but eventually went ahead in the 40th minute when Yamal tucked in and the job was completed late on when Raphinha slammed in from 12 yards after the visitors were penalised for handball.

The three points take Xavi Hernandez’s side back above Girona into second place, while Sociedad are down in seventh.

How the game unfolded

Barca immediately threatened in the opening two minutes as Pedri slid in Raphinha who looked for Robert Lewandowski, but Jon Aramburu was well placed to clear the danger.

Sociedad showed their own attacking teeth moments later as Mikel Oyarzabal set up Sheraldo Becker, who beat Pau Cubarsi but showed no composure in blasting his shot into the stands.

Xavi’s side were stifled effectively by the visitors and clear-cut chances were few and far between before Marc-Andre ter Stegen was called into action. Becker held off Cubarsi well and fired towards goal, but the German goalkeeper reacted well to claw the shot away from danger.

Barca finally produced some liquid football just before the half-hour mark as Yamal combined well with Ilkay Gundogan out wide. However, Jon Pacheco slid in just in the nick of time to stop the move progressing any further.

Gundogan was involved as Barca went close again shortly after, laying off Raphinha who struck the post before the German midfielder lifted over on the rebound, but the hosts were rewarded for their improvement when their teenage prodigy opened the scoring.

Lewandowski found Gundogan, who charged forward before crossing for Yamal. The young winger found the bottom corner for his fifth La Liga goal of the season.

Half-time came and went and the game was largely chance-less until the 65th minute when Sociedad goalkeeper Alex Remiro made an impressive save. Pedri pulled the strings to pick out Raphinha who shot from distance, but Remiro shuffled across to divert it behind.

Brais Mendez might have dragged Sociedad level when the otherwise impressive Gundogan handed the attacker the ball close to goal. Mendez beat a few players but couldn’t hit the target, instead dragging his effort wide of Ter Stegen’s goal.

Ferran Torres nearly doubled Barca’s lead mere moments later after his introduction from the bench but saw Remiro push his strike away from danger, queuing outrage from Fermin Lopez who had…

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