Barcelona held, Coutinho scores hat-trick

Real Madrid can go top of La Liga with a win against Valencia after Barcelona were held to a 2-2 draw by Real Sociedad.

Last Updated: 14/12/19 8:10pm

Barcelona were held to a 2-2 draw by Real Sociedad
Barcelona were held to a 2-2 draw by Real Sociedad

Barcelona’s six-game winning streak in all competitions was brought to an end as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Real Sociedad.

The hosts took an early lead through Mikel Oyarzabal’s penalty, but Antoine Griezmann cancelled that out with a first-half equaliser against his former club.

Luis Suarez struck at the start of the second half to put league leaders Barca ahead, but Alexander Isak replied for Sociedad to ensure the spoils were shared at Anoeta.

The opening goal came in the 12th minute when Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets was deemed to have tugged on the shirt of Diego Llorente as he lunged to covert a corner.

Oyarzabal stepped up to take the resulting penalty, sending Marc-Andre ter Stegen the wrong way to put Sociedad in front.

The Basque side were pegged back before the break, though, by former fan favourite Griezmann.

The French World Cup winner, who left Sociedad for Atletico Madrid in 2014, was put through by Suarez before coolly dinking his shot over the head of Alex Remiro.

Luis Suarez gave Barcelona the lead against Real Sociedad
Luis Suarez gave Barcelona the lead against Real Sociedad

Buoyed by that equaliser, Barca got their noses in front four minutes after half-time when Busquets found Lionel Messi, who unselfishly opted to pass outside to team-mate Suarez despite being one-on-one with Remiro.

Suarez duly tapped the ball into the unguarded net to give the visitors the advantage.

However, Sociedad pulled themselves level 12 minutes later when Ter Stegen could only parry a low cross from Oyarzabal out to Isak, who netted from close range.

The goal was looked at by the video assistant referee before being ratified.

A handful of near misses followed as the final whistle approached, with Mikel Merino missing a close-range header for Sociedad and team-mate Willian Jose also failing to convert an opportunity.

Rakitic had the last roll of the dice for the defending champions, but could only find the side of the netting as his long-range shot landed just wide of the mark.

A late winner by North Macedonia midfielder Enis Bardhi gave Levante a 2-1 win at Granada, ending the team’s two-game losing streak.

Bardhi scored with a shot from outside the area in the 89th minute.

Ruben Rochina had put Levante ahead in the 55th, with Darwin Machis equalising for the hosts five minutes later.

Levante moved to 11th, one point behind ninth-place Granada

Coutinho hat-trick inspires Bayern to win

Philippe Coutinho celebrates after scoring for Bayern Munich against Werder Bremen
Philippe Coutinho celebrates after scoring for Bayern Munich against Werder Bremen

Bayern Munich’s Philippe Coutinho scored a hat-trick and Robert Lewandowski added two more goals as the champions demolished Werder Bremen 6-1 on Saturday to impressively bounce back from two straight league defeats.

The Bavarians, missing several players through injury, climbed to fourth place on 27 points, six points behind RB Leipzig, who beat struggling Fortuna Dusseldorf 3-0.

Borussia Dortmund stayed two points ahead of Bayern in third after a 4-0 win at Mainz 05 but Bayer Leverkusen missed a chance to move into the top four after suffering a shock 2-0 defeat at strugglers Cologne and instead dropped to seventh on 25.

Bayern’s man of the match Coutinho, who also helped set up two more goals, delivered at just the right time with the team, struggling to find their rhythm under interim coach Hansi Flick, were at risk of losing touch with the top spots.

The Brazil forward, brought in on loan from Barcelona this season, scored his first Bundesliga treble with Bayern playing a dominant second half.

However, they fell behind in the 24th minute to a Milot Rashica goal after again missing golden chances, including by top scorer Lewandowski, as had been the case in recent weeks.

But their wastefulness was not punished this time as goals from Coutinho in the 45th minute, and Lewandowski in first-half stoppage time, turned the game for the hosts.

Coutinho then chipped a superb David Alaba pass over Bremen keeper Jiri Pavlenka for their third goal in the 63rd as Bayern completely bossed the game following the break.

Poland forward Lewandowski added a fifth after 72 minutes and Thomas Muller also scored before Coutinho rounded off a fine performance with another goal to complete his hat-trick.

Soccer Saturday Super 6

FREE TO PLAY: Do not miss your chance to land the £250,000 jackpot for the fifth time this year.

Source : Sky Sports