Luis Enrique’s side were held to a 1-1 draw by Real Sociedad and can count themselves fortunate to come away with anything at all. Ominous signs ahead of the Clasico next Saturday.
The Anoeta curse continues for Barcelona. The Catalans have failed to win away to Real Sociedad since 2007 and were unable to end that sorry streak in a 1-1 draw on Sunday. But it could have been far worse in the end.
La Real took the lead eight minutes into the second half and it was no more than they deserved, Willian Jose heading home as Gerard Pique could only help the ball into the roof of the net. Javier Mascherano had also missed a great opportunity to clear in the build-up to the goal.
An impressive run down the left by Neymar and a fine finish from Messi, who teed the ball up for himself and slotted in amid a seemingly non-existent space brought Barca back in it. Once again, it was the MSN to the rescue. But unlike at Mestalla and at the Sanchez Pizjuan in similarly poor performances recently, this time there was no late winner.
Barca will host Madrid at the Camp Nou next weekend and with a six-point gap between the two teams already, he had better make sure there is dramatic improvement for the visit of Los Blancos. Because another performance like this one and La Liga really will start to slip from their grasp.