Football Features

Busquets makes history and Aubameyang equals Zlatan as Barcelona beat Real Sociedad 0-1

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 23:02, 21 April 2022

Sergio Busquets made history and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang broke a decade-old record as Barcelona beat Real Sociedad 0-1 at Anoeta.

It was a game of two halves in San Sebastian as the Blaugrana dominated the opening period, where they took the lead through a towering back-post header from their new striker Aubameyang. Then after the break the Blaugrana survived an onslaught from La Real, losing two key defenders to injury in the process, to hold out for their fifth consecutive away win and lift them back up to second.

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An initial cross from Jordi Alba saw Ousmane Dembélé hit the post with a shot; then as the ball was being ushered away by La Real, Gavi pressed superbly to win the ball back and then lift a gorgeous pass over the top of the defence for the onrushing Ferran Torres.

Torres controlled the ball and then showed intense clarity in his vision to gently loft the ball over to Aubameyang. The Gabon international watched the ball head his way and then leaped prodigiously to nod it home.

Aubameyang’s goal was notable for several reasons. It was the first that La Real had conceded at home in La Liga since December, breaking a seven game unbeaten run (it was also just the seventh goal in total an opponent has scored there this season).

But mostly Aubameyang’s goal was so impressive as it was his ninth for Barcelona in his first 11 LaLiga games for the club. This makes him the first player in over a decade to have scored nine times in his opening 11 league games for his new club.

Aubameyang’s prolific performances have put him on a pedestal with some very big names. The last four men to score at least nine times in their opening 11 games for a new La Liga club are:

  • 2010: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Barcelona)
  • 1998: Christian Vieri (Atlético Madrid)
  • 1996: Ronaldo (Barcelona)
  • 1993: Romario (Barcelona)

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The game was also a historic occasion for Sergio Busquets, as the Catalan midfield maestro was playing his 675th game across all competitions for Barcelona. That moves him one ahead of Andrés Iniesta and leaves him third among Barcelona’s all-time appearance-makers.

Only Xavi (767) and Leo Messi (778) have played more times in Blaugrana than Busquets. A towering achievement for the midfielder who has won almost everything there is to win across those 675 appearances.

The top five appearance-makers for Barcelona are:

  1. Lionel Messi: 778
  2. Xavi: 767
  3. Sergio Busquets: 675
  4. Andrés Iniesta: 674
  5. Gerard Piqué: 605