Lionel Messi gave us yet another moment of individual brilliance as Barcelona did enough in a 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad in their Copa del Rey semifinal second leg. The Blaugrana took the tie 3-1 on aggregate but continued a winless streak at the Anoeta Stadium that dates back to 2007.
La Real kept up the suspense up for nearly 28 minutes but the Barcelona goal that was inevitable arrived in the 27th minute. Lionel Messi picked up a poorly dealt with long ball at the midway line and raced toward the goal, not appearing to care that he had no fewer than five La Real players surrounding him. Messi danced around the traffic and put a low shot on frame that hit off the hand of Zubikarai and trickled over the line.
The home side tried to get back into the match in the second half and nearly got a goal in the 55th minute when Carlos Vela sent a speculative shot toward goal from a tough angle to the right on the 18-yard-box. The ball curled over José Manuel Pinto but hit off the crossbar.
Zubikarai kept La Real in the match in the 56th minute, making an excellent double to keep Barca's lead at one goal. Messi broke loose behind the defense but the keeper blocked his shot, leaving a rebound that Cesc Fàbregas immediately put back on frame. Zubikarai was in the right place though and blocked that attempt as well.
La Real got a consolation goal in the 87th minute to even the match at 1-1. Gonzalo Castro made a great run down the left wing before pulling the ball back across the Barca box, right into the path of Antoine Griezmann. The talented young French winger took advantage of no Barca players tracking back to cover him and blasted a shot past Pinto.
Real Sociedad: Zubikarai, Mikel, Ansotegui, Zaldúa, Ángel, Zurutuza, Gaztañaga (Elustondo 67'), Xabi Prieto (Canales 81'), Griezmann, Seferovic (Castro 62'), Vela
Goals: Griezmann (87')
Barcelona: Pinto, Alves, Mascherano, Piqué, Alba, Busquets (Batra 90'), Iniesta, Xavi (Song 66'), Messi, Fàbregas, Pedro (Sánchez 76')
Goals: Messi (27')