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Player ratings as Barca jump to second place

Lamine Yamal's strike and Raphinha's late penalty helped Barcelona beat Real Sociedad 2-0 on Monday evening to move above Girona into second place in La Liga.

Barça were frustrated at times by La Real but finally took the lead in the 40th minute when Yamal came on and the job was done late on when Raphinha headed in from 12 yards after the visitors had been penalized for handball.

The three points take Xavi Hernandez's team back into second place above Girona, while Sociedad sit in seventh place.

How the game happened

Barca quickly folded in the first two minutes as Pedri slid in Raphinha who was looking for Robert Lewandowski, but Jon Aramburu was placed in the right position to clear the danger.

Sociedad showed their attacking teeth shortly after Mikel Oyarzabal set up Sheraldo Becker, who beat Pau Cubarsi but showed discomfort in firing his shot into the area.

Xavi's side were blocked by the visitors and clear chances were few and far between before Marc-Andre ter Stegen was called on. Becker caught Cubarsi well and shot towards the goal, but the German goalkeeper reacted well and blocked the shot to avoid danger.

Barca finally produced some fluid possession just before the half-hour mark as Yamal combined well with Ilkay Gundogan. However, Jon Pacheco stepped in at the right time to stop the move from continuing.

Gundogan was involved as Barca went close and soon after, he laid down Raphinha who hit the post before the German midfielder lifted the ball high, but the hosts were rewarded for their progress when their young prodigy opened the scoring.

Lewandowski found Gundogan, who headed in before crossing over Yamal. The youngster got the low end of his fifth La Liga goal of the season.

The break came and went and the game had no chance until the 65th minute when Sociedad goalkeeper Alex Remiro made a spectacular save. Pedri pulled the strings to clear Raphinha's shot from distance, but Remiro shuffled across to deflect it behind.

Brais Mendez may have pulled Sociedad level while the otherwise impressive Gundogan provided the striker with the ball close to goal. Mendez beat several players but was unable to score, instead pulling his effort wide of Ter Stegen's goal.

Ferran Torres almost doubled Barca's lead shortly after being introduced from the bench but saw Remiro push his strike into danger, setting off the fury of Fermin Lopez who wanted to be sacked.

Sociedad were unable to respond and instead saw the margin lost in second-half stoppage time as Xavi's side were awarded a penalty. Alvaro Odriozola blocked Raphinha's free-kick with his arm and the Brazilian rose to Lewandowski outside the box, blasting his effort into the bottom corner to wrap up the night's work.


Raphinha enters the penalty area / LLUIS GENE/GettyImages

GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 7/10 – He has put in a clean sheet that suits him, which does three important things, and is well distributed in the background.

RB: Jules Kounde – 7/10 – Kept the often dangerous Oyarzabal quiet with another steady and convincing performance at right back.

CB: Pau Cubarsi – 7/10 – Tolerated a few times where he was beaten for power but often made up for it with his game smarts and poise.

CB: Inigo Martinez – 7/10 – It proved a good album for the young Cubarsi, giving his experience behind the success.

LB: Joao Cancelo – 7/10 – Hard work by the Portuguese international, who scored three goals. Couldn't muster anything offensive in the final third.

CM: Peter – 7/10 – Played good passes that split the defense and Sociedad's midfielder had difficulty getting close to him when he was in full stride.

CM: Andreas Christensen – 6/10 – He made the midfield scrimmage and was an important aerial presence.

CM: Ilkay Gundogan – 7/10 – He got his eighth assist in La Liga of the campaign and was at the heart of Barca's intense attack.

RW: Lamine Yamal – 8/10 – Showed great composure with his goal and was never shy about tackling a defender, giving Aramburu plenty of trouble throughout.

ST: Robert Lewandowski – 6/10 – He was always winning long balls in the air but had just one collected shot totaling just 0.02 xG.

LW: Raphinha – 8/10 – He was unlucky to hit the woodwork but got the goal his performance deserved late on with a well-struck penalty.

What you are holding

Sergi Roberto (70' for Christensen) – 6/10

Fermin Lopez (70' for Pedri) – 6/10

Ferran Torres (77' for Lewandowski) – 5/10

Oriol Romeu (94' for Gundogan) – N/A

Subs used: Diego Kochen, Hector Fort, Inaki Pena, Joao Felix, Marcos Alonso, Ronald Araujo, Vitor Roque.

The manager

Xavi Hernandez – 7/10 – He saw his team finally break Sociedad's tough outfit and return to second place in La Liga with all three points. The work is done.

Best player: Lamine Yamal (Barcelona)


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