Barcelona 1-0 Real Sociedad: Lionel Messi scores late penalty

Lionel Messi scored a late penalty as Barcelona edged to victory over Real Sociedad to move top of La Liga.

Barca go two points clear of Real Madrid, but Zinedine Zidane’s side can regain top spot with victory at Real Betis on Sunday (kick-off 20:00 GMT).

The home side’s spot-kick was awarded for Robin le Normand’s handball, which the referee saw on the pitchside monitor, allowing Messi to convert.

Alexander Isak smashed a shot wide from Sociedad’s best chance of the game.

  • Relive Barcelona’s win over Real Sociedad

Barca thought they had a second in the 95th minute when Jordi Alba stroked a finish into an open net, but substitute Ansu Fati was adjudged to be narrowly offside by VAR.

Former Middlesbrough striker Martin Braithwaite, who signed for Barca in an emergency transfer outside the transfer window, was dangerous in the first half, striking a couple of shots straight at Sociedad goalkeeper Alex Remiro.

Ivan Rakitic had a thumping effort from the edge of the area pushed away, while Gerard Pique headed straight at Remiro from inside the six yard box.

Messi seemed to be having an off day when he side-footed a shot wide from 10 yards out and curled another off target, but the skipper proved to be the match winner, clipping home an 81st minute penalty for his 19th league goal of the season.

Line-ups

Barcelona

Substitutes

Real Sociedad

Substitutes

Match Stats

Live Text

Match ends, Barcelona 1, Real Sociedad 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Barcelona 1, Real Sociedad 0.

VAR Decision: No Goal Barcelona 1-0 Real Sociedad.

GOAL OVERTURNED BY VAR: Jordi Alba (Barcelona) scores but the goal is ruled out after a VAR review.

Offside, Barcelona. Lionel Messi tries a through ball, but Ansu Fati is caught offside.

Foul by Ansu Fati (Barcelona).

Nacho Monreal (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Real Sociedad. Conceded by Clément Lenglet.

Corner, Real Sociedad. Conceded by Arturo Vidal.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Júnior Firpo replaces Martin Braithwaite.

Booking

Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Sergio Busquets (Barcelona).

Martin Ødegaard (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Hand ball by Sergio Busquets (Barcelona).

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Ansu Fati replaces Antoine Griezmann.

Foul by Lionel Messi (Barcelona).

Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Real Sociedad. Willian José replaces Alexander Isak.

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 1, Real Sociedad 0. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Booking

Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad) is shown the yellow card.

VAR Decision: Penalty Barcelona.

Penalty conceded by Robin Le Normand (Real Sociedad) with a hand ball in the penalty area.

Booking

Ander Guevara (Real Sociedad) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ander Guevara (Real Sociedad).

Attempt missed. Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Martin Ødegaard.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Arturo Vidal replaces Ivan Rakitic.

Attempt missed. Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Mikel Merino.

Corner, Real Sociedad. Conceded by Nélson Semedo.

Substitution

Substitution, Real Sociedad. Igor Zubeldia replaces Diego Llorente because of an injury.

Foul by Martin Braithwaite (Barcelona).

Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lionel Messi with a cross.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Alexander Isak.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Álex Remiro.

Attempt saved. Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Antoine Griezmann.

Booking

Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Gerard Piqué (Barcelona).

Mikel Merino (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Antoine Griezmann with a headed pass.

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