Barcelona, faced with a ten-point gap between themselves and league leaders Real Madrid, needed a win against Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou. Normally, that would be an easy task for the European champions, but the hosts were oddly profligate throughout the match and things were therefore far more stressful than Lionel Messi and company have liked.
Barcelona fielded a very young squad, including Jonathan dos Santos, Cristian Tello, Thiago Alcantara and Isaac Cuenca, and the young guns did well, with Tello opening the scoring seven minutes in with a very nice finish. After the opener, though, they just couldn't seem to find the back of the net - in one implausible series of events Cuenca rattled the crossbar before Tello was denied a goal by the ball deflecting off the obviously offside Dani Alves on the line before hitting the back of the net, and on another Messi rounded Claudio Bravo only to see his shot blocked.
Messi wasn't about to keep wasting chances, though, and he finally got the ball into the back of the net when he volleyed a neat cross by Dani Alves in at the near post, but Barcelona couldn't relax - their lead was instantly reduced to one goal when former Arsenal striker Carlos Vela raced onto a Antoine Griezmann through pass and slotted the ball past Victor Valdes to make it 2-1.
Forced to made defensive substitutes, Pep Guardiola introduced Sergio Busquets for dos Santos, a move that backfired in spectacular fashion when the World Cup winner was stretchered off eight minutes later with a horrible-looking cut. Although Barcelona would see out the win, we're still waiting on news about Busquets - if he goes down their already small squad could be stretched to breaking point.