Barcelona 5#0 Real Sociedad Highlights
Runtime: 14m 16s
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Lionel Messi struck twice as Barcelona cruised to an impressive 5-0 win over Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou this evening.
David Villa kept up his good scoring record against Sociedad as he netted his seventh goal in nine games against the Basques with only eight minutes on the clock. Andres Iniesta made it two 13 minutes before the break, Messi struck at either end of the second half and substitute Bojan Krkic made it five in the closing moments.
Barça, who beat fierce rivals Real Madrid 5-0 in their last league match at home, effortlessly matched that result with an easy victory which keeps Pep Guardiola's side at the top of the Primera Division table after 15 rounds of matches.
For the visit of Sociedad, Guardiola decided to rest defender Gerard Pique, with full-back Eric Abidal switching to a central defensive role alongside captain Carles Puyol. But the duo were rarely troubled in a one-sided first half, which saw Barça open the scoring with their first meaningful attack.
Lionel Messi's defence-splitting pass found Pedro in an advanced position on the right and the Tenerife-born winger squared with a low centre to give Villa a simple finish from three years at the far post. Pedro should have made it two in Barça's very next attack, but was just off target following a neat Dani Alves cross.
The Catalans, with Javier Mascherano - handed a rare start ahead of Sergio Busquets in the holding role - flanked by Xavi and Iniesta in midfield, were looking efficient in their dominance and the latter made it 2-0 after 32 minutes.
The midfielder finished off a wonderful team move by playing a lovely one-two with Pedro on the edge of the box and continuing his run to beat Sociedad goalkeeper Claudio Bravo with a low, angled finish at the near post.
Messi came close to goal himself six minutes before the break, but did make the scoresheet as soon as the second half got underway. The Argentina forward played a one-two with Alves in the Sociedad area and fired a low shot through Bravo's legs to make it 3-0 with almost half of the match still remaining.
Guardiola rang the changes after that, with Bojan, Seydou Keita and Busquets replacing Xavi, Pedro and Mascherano. But Messi, as usual, was the main man and the 23-year-old struck the post after a superb run with 12 minutes left.
And eight minutes later, he made it four. This time, Messi played a one-two with Bojan and waltzed past four visiting defenders before sliding an angled shot past Bravo with his left foot. It was a trademark Messi goal and Sociedad were surely longing for the final whistle at this stage.
But there was more punishment to come for the Basques as Bojan made it 5-0 with a minute left after his initial effort had been saved by Bravo. With 15 rounds of the Primera Division now completed, there is no change at the top as Barça still lead Real by two points.
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