Published: Sun, April 16, 2017
Sport | By Scott Davis

Messi on the double as Barca edge by Real Sociedad

Messi on the double as Barca edge by Real Sociedad

After dropping the first leg of its UEFA Champions League quarterfinal with Juventus 3-0, Barcelona looked to rebound against Real Sociedad in La Liga, and keep pace with leader Real Madrid in the process.

The Argentina worldwide struck twice in the first half to take his tally for the Catalans to 498 goals in all competitions, before an own goal from Samuel Umtiti shortly before the break helped the Basque side back in the game.

Messi scored the first two goals of the game to give Barca a solid cushion before Sociedad clawed back to make it 3-2 at halftime.

Unlike a weakened Real Madrid, who beat Sporting Gijon by the same scoreline earlier in the day, Barca played a full-strength team.

Barcelona were looking to recover from the 3-0 Champions League defeat by Juventus which came on the back of last weekend's unexpected loss at Malaga, where Brazil forward Neymar was sent off and so handed a three-match domestic ban.

The Argentina midfielder collected Suarez's square ball some 25 yards out and smashed it into the bottom right corner.

However Barcelona scored nearly immediately, as Paco Alcacer restored their two-goal advantage when Paco Alcacer netted just his fourth goal of the season, with a well-taken left footed strike into the bottom corner.

Barcelona slowly grew into the game and forged ahead when Messi found the net five minutes later, sending a low shot past goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli from outside the area after being set up by Luis Suarez.

Luis Enrique opted for a change on 70 minutes as Andre Gomes made way for Andres Iniesta.

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