Griezmann dazzles vs. former club, Pique 8/10 as Barca draw at Real Sociedad

Barcelona's seven-game winning run came to an end as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Real Sociedad in La Liga on Saturday.

The home side took an early lead at Anoeta when Mikel Oyarzabal scored from the penalty spot after Sergio Busquets was adjudged to have pulled Diego Llorente's shirt. Antoine Griezmann levelled things up against his former side before the break with a dinked finish and Luis Suarez then gave Barca the lead in the 49th minute. However, La Real earned a point when Alexander Isak finished from close range after Marc-Andre ter Stegen could only parry a cross.


Despite dropping two points, there were some positives for Barcelona. Griezmann took his goal -- his sixth of the season -- really well and is beginning to look more comfortable with his role on the left wing. Gerard Pique was also very good defensively, which could be handy with the Clasico against Real Madrid to come on Wednesday.

There were also important minutes for Jordi Alba and Nelson Semedo, who both returned from long layoffs.


Anoeta has always been a tough place to visit for Barca so while the draw shouldn't concern them too much, elements of their performance should. For large phases of the game, especially the first half-hour, they struggled to deal with La Real's pressing and pace. It's a theme which has been common all season, especially on the road. As for the result, the dropped points mean they could end the weekend in second space. However, with Real Madrid's game on Sunday away at Valencia, that's by no means a certainty.

Manager rating out of 10

5 -- Ernesto Valverde's team selection was predictable and will probably be the same against Real Madrid. There are few arguments about that, but his substitutes weren't great. None of Semedo, Carles Alena or Arturo Vidal had a big impact on the game, while the heroes from the midweek win at Inter Milan, Carles Perez and Ansu Fati, remained sat on the bench.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 6 -- The German goalkeeper will be annoyed about the second goal, which he palmed into Isak's path for an easy finish.

DF Sergi Roberto, 5 -- La Real seemed to target his flank, which meant he was often pinned back and unable to help in attack.

DF Gerard Pique, 8 -- If Ter Stegen didn't have to make tons of saves, it was in large parts thanks to Pique. The Catalan defender's positioning and intuition was spot on. He made a number of key challenges and blocks and almost scored, too. His looping header, which would have made it 3-1, was hacked off the line.

DF Clement Lenglet, 5 -- Managed to keep his concentration but his form has dipped a little in recent weeks.

DF Jordi Alba, 6 -- Played more cautiously than normal on his return from injury, perhaps not wanting to get injured ahead of the Madrid game.

MF Sergio Busquets, 6 -- Struggled in the first half when pressed by La Real but improved as the game went on. Played a brilliant pass to Messi in the lead up to Suarez's goal.

MF Frenkie de Jong, 6 -- Possibly his poorest performance for several weeks. Was by no means bad, but was outshone by the home side's industrious midfield. Mikel Merino and Martin Odegaard were particularly good.

MF Ivan Rakitic, 5 -- Misplaced a few too many passes but is likely to keep his place in the XI for now, with Arthur Melo still injured. Taken off in the second half mere seconds after blasting just wide from distance.

FW Lionel Messi, 6 -- One of his more subdued performances of the season. Still managed to set up Suarez's goal with a selfless pass and you could see the fear in La Real's defenders when he ran at them.

FW Luis Suarez, 7 -- Static at times off the ball but really effective when it mattered. Set up Griezmann's goal with a good run and pass before scoring his 12th goal of the season after the break.

FW Antoine Griezmann, 7 -- Improving all the time. He was whistled by his former supporters on his return to San Sebastian but took his goal really well. The chipped finish was almost a carbon copy of his effort against Mallorca last weekend.


MF Carles Alena, 5 -- Brought on too late to really do anything. Also took a whack on the head that drew blood.

DF Nelson Semedo, 5 -- Looked to use his pace on the left as Barca pushed for a winner.

MF Arturo Vidal, NR -- Valverde's last roll of the dice in an attempt inside the final 10 minutes.