Well that was unexpected. After going into half time absolutely cruising against Real Sociedad and 2-0 up thanks to goals by Cesc Fabregas and Xavi Hernandez, Barcelona ended up conceding twice after the break and help to a draw by their rather less renowned opposition. It all seemed so easy for the European and La Liga champions, too, with absolutely no sign of any sort of Sociedad comeback on the cards.
Wrong! Xabi Prieto got things started for the hosts in the 59th minute, when his excellent cross found Imanol Agirretxe's head and ended up buried in Victor Valdes' net. Moments later and things would get much worse for Barcelona. For some reason, David Villa opted to pass backwards from the right forward position, aiming the ball vaguely at his defence and letting fly. That turned into a 50-yard raking through ball to Agirretxe, who rounded Valdes and... well, that's when things got complicated.
First, Sergio Busquets, tracking back to cover, deflected the ball onto the crossbar with his hands, which was quite naughty. Then midfielder Antoine Griezmann followed up the initial shot with a header into the back of the net, but with the flag up (for Busquet's handball), nobody was quite sure if the goal was legitimate or not, least of all Griezmann, whose 'celebration' was basically an impression of a rather bewildered duck. Eventually, everyone determined that the goal would stand and that Busquets would not be sent off for handling a goalbound shot, a lucky escape for him*.
*And no, handling a goalbound shot isn't cheating, unless you think committing a foul is cheating, in which case I hate you.
More bizarre scenes would follow - Valdes nearly conceded from 70 yards when Sociedad tried to return the ball to Barcelona while their goalkeeper wasn't paying attention. The little mishap led to a rather amusing scramble as Valdes was alerted to the 'shot' about half a second before it crept into his bottom corner. Equally odd was Lionel Messi being booked for diving in virtually the last action of the match, the little Argentinian (who came on as a substitute was a baffled Pep Guardiola found himself having to chase the match) going down after being tripped in the area only to find Antonio Lahoz brandishing the yellow card at him. Odd.
Anyway, Sociedad probably didn't deserve the points, but they got them anyway, and we have our first major twist in the La Liga title race. Interesting!