Barcelona finally procure the La Liga title under the gleaming lights of Camp Nou, but with the bitter aftertaste of defeat accompanying them. Despite a poor performance, lifting the all-important trophy does mask 90 minutes of shortcomings.
As play kicked off, Barcelona looked uncertain with the ball early on as they simply could not manage to retain the ball for lengthier possessions. 5 minutes in, Kounde, taking matters in his own hands, failed to progress past Sociedad’s press, which led to Merino scoring the easiest of chances.
Although the Catalans slowly gained prominence over possession, they lacked a clinical edge in the Final Third. Dembele was the highlight performance of the half as his prolific 1v1 dribbling ability was on full display. However, his frustrating tendency to be wasteful when executing simple plays prevented him from being a goal-contributing factor.
Attempting to make amends to that lackluster first half, Barcelona started the second with similar woes as the Catalans failed to sustain control and provide spells of worthwhile possession. Hooked for Alonso at half-time, Kounde’s night was cut short after being responsible for La Real’s opener.
Despite some increased patience on the ball, Sociedad stood resolutely at the back as they continually sniffed danger in transition. With Balde, Alonso, and Alba at the back, fielding three left-backs inevitably caused troubles.
Around the hour mark, Barcelona substituted Kessie and Raphinha for Fati and Ferran respectively. The 20-year-old was given a solid opportunity, but hesitancy before taking the shot denied him from extending the lead.
Following fruitless spells for Barça, Zubimendi won the ball off Frenkie De Jong, started a rapid counterattack, and made an excellent assist to Sorloth to make it 2-0 to Real Sociedad.
Barça thus concluded the final phase of the game chasing a 2-0 lead, which never really looked under threat. Lack of aggression, met with nonexistent control contributed to a stale and insipid affair. Ferran’s peach of a cross for Lewandowski’s header shifted the tides in Barça’s favor briefly, but the goal was not enough.
All in all, having won the title with 4 games left to spare, the Blaugranas managed to alleviate the negative sensations soon after the defeat to La Real as the trophy celebrations commenced.