Monday, May 22, 2017

Barcelona v Real Sociedad: Iniesta warns against complacency

SoccerNews in La Liga 7 May 2015

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Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta has warned against complacency ahead of an important Liga clash with Real Sociedad on Saturday.

Barca will undoubtedly head into the home fixture in a buoyant mood after putting one foot in the UEFA Champions League final with a 3-0 win over Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Their victory in the first leg of the semi-final came thanks to three goals in the final 13 minutes. Lionel Messi scored two of them, including an audacious chip after he left Jerome Boateng on the ground in a superb mazy run.

But Barcelona must keep their eye on the ball as they only lead La Liga by two points with three matches to play. Arch-rivals Real Madrid are snapping at their heels and have won seven league matches in a row.

“We shouldn’t start thinking that nobody can beat us,” Iniesta said after the Bayern win.

“We have to keep doing this. If we stop, there are other very good teams and when you least expect it, they can beat you.”

Of Messi’s heroics, he added: “Leo Messi does things that nobody else does. We are lucky to be able to enjoy having him – I take my hat off to him once again. He makes us happy.”

Barca have not lost since a surprise 1-0 home defeat to Malaga in February, winning 16 of their 17 matches since.

They have kept six clean sheets in a row, scoring 23 goals in the process, with the much-vaunted triumvirate of Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar in devastating form. The trio caused Bayern no end of problems on Wednesday and it was only goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s brilliance that kept the scoreline goalless until the 77th minute.

Barcelona have scored 162 goals in all competitions this season, with Messi, Suarez and Neymar contributing a staggering 111 of them.

All those statistics are concerning for Sociedad, but David Moyes’ side have not lost any of their last six home games against Barca. Included in that run was a 1-0 triumph in January that came courtesy of Jordi Alba’s second-minute own goal.

While Sociedad’s home record against the Catalan giants is excellent, they have lost on their last 17 visits to Camp Nou. Sociedad drew 1-1 at the famous venue in April 1995 but have endured a horrible record ever since, conceding almost three goals per game.

Sociedad lie 11th in the table on the back of a three-match unbeaten run, and beat Levante 3-0 last time out.

But a repeat looks highly unlikely against a Barcelona side firing on all cylinders.

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