June 9, 2023

Player ratings as Blaugrana made to wait for clean sheet record

Barcelona’s wait to seal La Liga’s clean sheet record continues after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Real Sociedad.

The newly crowned champions have picked up 25 clean sheets this season, one behind the all-time record of 26, but hopes of tying that record here were dashed after just five minutes.

Alexander Sorloth bullied Jules Kounde off the ball and squared for Mikel Merino, who slotted the ball between the legs of a furious Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Despite that early setback, Barcelona caused plenty of problems with a relentless high press and Alex Remiro needed to be alert to keep out a header from Ousmane Dembele, shortly before Martin Zubimendi’s excellent interception to prevent Franck Kessie from tying the score up.

Robert Lewandowski missed a sitter by his standards before Sociedad went down the other end and missed a number of huge chances to double their advantage. Ander Barrenetxea missed two either side of an excellent Ter Stegen save to deny Mohamed-Ali Cho.

Barcelona ended the first half on top and that intense press continued after the break, but Sociedad always looked dangerous and, after Sorloth missed a header, the towering striker made no mistake as he tapped home from a Zubimendi pull-back.

The second goal turned the game on its head, with Sociedad visibly more confident knowing they had that extra cushion for the remaining 20 minutes and Barcelona aware that there was nothing left to play for.

That didn’t stop Barcelona from pulling one back in the dying embers, though. Ferran Torres’ cross was whipped right at Lewandowski, who headed home to reduce the gap to just one goal.

GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen (6); RB: Alejandro Balde (7); CB: Jules Kounde (5); CB: Andreas Christensen (6); LB: Jordi Alba (7); DM: Sergio Busquets (7); CM: Franck Kessie (6), CM: Frenkie de Jong (7); RW: Raphinha (7); ST: Robert Lewandowski (7); LW: Ousmane Dembele (8)

Substitutes: Marcos Alonso (6), Ansu Fati (6), Ferran Torres (7), Eric Garcia (N/A), Pablo Torre (N/A)

GK: Alex Remiro (6); RB: Aritz Elustundo (6); CB: Igor Zubeldia (7); CB: Robin Le Normand (7); LB: Diego Rico (7); CM: Martin Zubimendi (8); CM: Mikel Merino (8), CM: Asier Illarramendi (6); AM: Ander Barrenetxea (6); AM: Mohamed-Ali Cho (7); ST: Alexander Sorloth (9)

Substitutes: Takefusa Kubo (6), Andoni Gorosabel (6), Pablo Marin (6), Carlos Fernandez (N/A), Jon Pacheco (N/A)

Player of the match – Alexander Sorloth (Real Sociedad)