Sergio Busquets gave the hosts the lead in the 44th minute just moments after Sociedad should have had a penalty, and following some good work from Alexis Sanchez the Catalans found themselves 2-0 to the good on the hour-mark when Gorka Elustondo kicked the ball into the backside of his own goalkeeper and then watched as it trickle into the back of the net.
Following are player ratings and analysis for each of the Barcelona player.
Pinto: Made an early save to preserve level terms and then did brilliantly to deny Vela late in the first half.
Alves: Causing the Sociedad defense all sorts of problems going forward.
Pique: Has completed 97% of his passes but was caught in no-man’s land when Vela broke downfield and nearly scored.
Mascherano: Should have been sent off for impeding Vela’s attempt at goal.
Alba: He already has 72 touches and is making up for a woeful performance against Valencia.
Xavi: Spreading the ball about with typical precision.
Busquets: Took his goal calmly after it bounced to him in the chaos following a corner.
Fabregas: On the receiving end of some clattering challenges in the opening frame.
Alexis: Will get more room now that Martinez can’t aid Angel in tracking him.
Messi: Hit the woodwork with a venomous free-kick.
Pedro: Hasn’t been nearly as involved in the buildup play as he would have liked to this point.
Pinto: Came up big with two important saves in the first half but wasn’t tested after the restart.
Alves: Who, exactly, where those persistent cross from the right intended for?
Pique: Was basically a midfielder in the second half and completed 90% of his passes.
Mascherano: Won all of his aerial duels but was lucky to still be on the pitch after his first-half foul on Vela.
Alba: An incredible 124 touches from the left-back.
Xavi: Completed 94% of his passes but at no point played in a killer ball.
Busquets: Excellent distribution once again from the holding midfielder, who also goes into the second leg with a yellow card.
Fabregas: Played a wonderful ball to the far post that Dani Alves couldn’t quite head into goal.
Alexis: Did well to place his shot leading up to the second goal, although he got a helping hand from Elustondo.
Messi: Picked up a yellow card for a foul on Canales and was generally poor.
Pedro: Only 75 touches over the course of the 90 minutes—previous few for a Barcelona player.
Iniesta: Even his introduction couldn’t help deliver a third Barcelona goal.
Tello: Only four touches of the ball in a brief cameo.