A week after its cruel defeat in the Clasico against Real Madrid (2-1), FC Barcelona snatched a miraculous victory in the 94th minute (1-0) on Saturday on the pitch of Real Sociedad thanks to a goal of Ronald Araujo, during the 12th day of La Liga.
On the edge of offside, the Uruguayan defender, who came to add to the attack in added time, gave the Blaugrana three points with a diving header from a perfect cross from Gündogan.
Dominated throughout the meeting by the Basque team, Barça took advantage of Atlético Madrid's misstep to regain third place and stay in contact with Real Madrid, who will have to win on Sunday against Rayo Vallecano if they want to dislodge Girona , victorious at Osasuna (4-2) and new leader. Real Sociedad, which had been superior for 93 minutes, lost its fifth place to Betis Sevilla. Deprived of the ball and stifled by the Basques' pressure, the Catalans can thank their goalkeeper Marc-André Ter Stegen, who once again played the role of saviors with several decisive saves.
The German had to repel a tense first strike from Barrenetxea in the 32nd second of play, suggesting difficulties to come for Barça. Back in the starting eleven after a month of absence, French defender Jules Koundé almost cost his team a goal with a poorly assured back pass, intercepted by Oyarzabal (3rd). On the corner that followed, Mikel Merino's header fled the target (3rd) and was unable to reward Real's fiery start. Ter Stegen continued to disgust the opposing attackers by turning away Takefusa Kubo's attempt at the end (16th) and was very happy to see a mix-up in front of his goal end in a corner (33rd).
On the Barcelona side, nothing, or almost nothing, apart from a small bridge from Gavi in the opposing area and a half-hearted attempt from Cancelo from the left (26th). We had to wait until the 45th minute to see a first timid shot on target from Fermin Lopez and a contentious situation where the referee could have called a penalty for a tripped foot by Zubeldia on João Félix.
In the second half, the desire and technical mastery remained for the locals, who continued to project themselves while Barça still failed to develop their game. The very active Brais Mendez and Barrenetxea pushed Ter Stegen to two new parades (54th and 71st) but it was ultimately Araujo who found the net to offer the hold-up to Barça (94th, 1-0).
Earlier in the day, French playmaker Nabil Fekir returned to the field after 8 months of absence due to a left knee injury to the applause of the Benito-Villamarin stadium in Seville. His team, Betis (5th), won easily (2-0) against Mallorca (16th), with goals from Willian José and Ayoze Perez. Its neighbor, Sevilla FC (14th), snatched a fourth consecutive draw against Celta Vigo (1-1) thanks to a late goal from Youssef En-Nesyri, and still does not advance before challenging Arsenal on Wednesday in the Champions League.