La Liga: Early Aubameyang Strike Sends Barcelona Back Into Second Place

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyabg’s 11th-minute header proved to be the difference in an engrossing 1-0 win for Barcelona against Real Sociedad at the Reale Arena in Sebastian. The Gabonese striker’s 11th goal for the Catalans saw them move back up to second place on the La Liga table on 63 points, the same as Sevilla but separated by goal difference with a game in hand.

There is no denying that the home team had opportunities they will rue missing. This was none more apparent than when Alexander Isak missed with just Ter Stegen to beat. Another Alexander in the form of Alexander Sørloth, who missed an empty net after a delicious cross from out wide.

The victory was a perfect tonic to a disappointing week for Xavi Hernandez’s men after being knocked out of the Europa League last Thursday by Eintracht Frankfurt, before imploding to relegation-threatend Cadiz last Sunday. This was also their 14th victory in 20 matches since Hernandez took over as their remarkable recovery continues. Barcelona completed a season sweep of Sociedad, having defeated them 4-2 on the opening weekend last August. Imanol Alguacil’s charges next match will be against Rayo Vallecano away on Sunday 01 May, while Barcelona hosts the same opponents this coming Sunday night.

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Real Sociedad starting lineup: Remiro (GK) — Rico, Le Normand, Zubeldia, Zaluda – Rafinha, Merino, Zubimendi, Januzaj – Isak, Sorloth.

Real Sociedad subs: Ryan (GK), Djouhara, Guevara, Martin, Illarramendi, Guridi, Munoz, Gorosabel, Elustondo, Pacheco, Ayesa, Portu.

Barcelona starting lineup: Ter Stegen (GK) — Alba, Araujo, Pique, Alves — F. de Jong, Busquets, Gavi – Aubameyang, Torres, Dembele.

Barcelona subs: Neto (GK), Carevic, Dest, Mingueza, Garcia, Lenglet, Puig, Gonzalez, Depay, Braithwaite, L. de Jong, Traore.

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