By Mac Izu Nelson
Yesterday, Barca took on Real Sociedad in the first leg of their Copa Del Rey outing.
The match took place at the Anoeta, a ground which has seen no Barcelona victory since 2007.
It took a combination of resolute defending and die hard resolve for Barca to scale through this one unscathed.
It also took a 19th minute penalty which was coolly slotted home by Neymar.
In the course of the match, Barca continually probed and poked with their direct running and trickery on the flanks.
But it did not reap any further dividends as Sociedad maintained their structure.
In the dying embers of the game, Sociedad rallied to put Barcelona under immense pressure as has become the norm with these games.
But the Catalans held firm to see their advantage to the second leg.
The match ended 1-0, advantage Barca.
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Speaking after the game Barcelona boss, Luis Enrique, said,
“That was the first step towards the semis. But we know that the second part of the tie has yet to come. However, this win was especially encouraging because it came at a ground that has traditionally been so difficult for us.
The team worked really hard, with effort, attitude and concentration at all times. I’d highlight the solidity in defence of the whole team. We managed to keep almost all of the football in their half and that meant that our virtues shone through rather than those of Real.
[Goalkeeper Jasper] Cillessen’s long kicks were a great way to deal with the deep pressure they generated.
For the second leg, this result is going to force them to come at us and try to score. That will make for a really attractive game.”
The second leg takes place in a week’s time.
*In other news, Atletico Madrid won 3-0 against Eibar thanks to goals from Antoine Griezzman, Correa, and Kevin Gameiro.