Barca stay seven points behind Madrid

February 5th, 2012 - 4:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, Feb 5 (IANS) FC Barcelona remained seven points behind Real Madrid in the Spanish Primera Liga after a 2-1 win at home to Real Sociedad.

Barcelona missed several chances, with Lionel Messi surprisingly guilty of wasting opportunities to add to his goal tally, but in the end the Argentinian and youngster Cristian Tello assured Barca are still in the hunt for a fourth successive league title.

With his side still involved in the Copa del Rey, Pep Guardiola took a risk in handing starts to youngsters Jonathan Dos Santos, Tello, Thiago Alcantara and Isaac Cuenca, while resting key players such as Xavi Hernandez, Sergio Busquets and the injured Andres Iniesta, Xinhua reported.

Messi did start, however should have scored twice in the first half but was denied by the heroics of Real Sociedad keeper Claudio Bravo.

Tello celebrated his first start with a goal after just nine minutes, he shrewdly went round the back of the visitors’ defense to sidefoot home.

Messi must have thought he had sealed the points when he finally beat Bravo with a neat lob with 18 minutes remaining to make it 2-0, but a slack pass from Thiago a minute later set up Carlos Vela to bring the visitors back into the match.

Antoine Griezmann had another chance for Real Sociedad, but was again denied by Valdes before Barca regained control. Despite Real Sociedad’s best efforts the visitors were unable to create clear chances to level the game.

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