Sociedad stun FC Barcelona, Real Madrid F.C. go top

Written by AFP | Madrid | Updated: Feb 27 2014, 15:58pm hrs
Real Madrid F.C. moved three points clear at the top of La Liga as Barcelona suffered their second league defeat in four games with a 3-1 reverse away to Real Sociedad.

Earlier yesterday, Madrid had comfortably seen off Elche 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu thanks in part to a spectacular long-range strike from Gareth Bale.

Barcelona had come into the game on a high after beating

Manchester City in their much-anticipated Champions League tie on Tuesday, but went behind when Alex Song turned Sergio Canales' cross into his own net.

Lionel Messi restored parity almost instantly with aclinical left-footed finish.

However, two goals in the opening 15 minutes of the

second-half from Antoine Griezmann and David Zurutuza handed Sociedad a deserved victory.

"We didn't feel comfortable and we didn't have possession, which is our strength. That allowed then to create chances," Barca defender Gerard Pique told Spanish TV station Canal Plus.

"Now we have a week to rest and reflect on why things

did't go well. It is not worrying, we just have to continue

onto the next game."

Barca boss Gerardo Martino had made six changes from the

side that started in Manchester as Neymar made his first start

in a month.

After a slow start from the visitors, Pedro came close to

opening the scoring when he sliced Andres Iniesta's pass just


It was Sociedad who struck first, though, as Song bundled

the ball into his own net under pressure from Gorka Elustondo.

The lead lasted only three minutes as Messi fired home

his seventh goal in his last five games with an unerring

finish from the edge of the area.

Sociedad should have been back in front before half-time

when Carlos Vela pounced on an error from Gerard Pique, but

the Mexican wastefully blasted over the bar with just Victor

Valdes to beat.

Barca were dealt a blow at half-time when coach Gerardo

Martino was sent to the stands for the second half after

taking his protests towards the officials too far as they

headed down the tunnel.

And the Catalans' defence also seemed to completely lose

their composure at the start of the second-half as Sociedad

opened them up at will.