May 21, 2013
Barca lose first league game this term at Sociedad
Real Sociedad stunned ten-man Barcelona by handing the leaders their first La Liga defeat this season when they came from two goals down to claim a last-gasp 3-2 win.
Imanol Agirretxe slid in to grab the winner for the impressive hosts in added time after Lionel Messi and Pedro had given Barca an early lead.
Messi's goal, his 10th in 10 consecutive league games, matched the La Liga record set by fellow Barca players Mariano Martin in the 1942/43 campaign and Brazil's Ronaldo in 1996/97.
Gonzalo Castro pulled one back for the Basque side four minutes before halftime and he levelled the scores, soon after Gerard Pique was sent off in the 56th minute for a second bookable offence, with a deflected shot.
"I have to congratulate Real Sociedad. Their victory is more to do with how well they played than my players not playing well," Barca coach Tito Vilanova told a news conference.
Barca, who had only dropped points this season in a 2-2 draw at home to champions Real Madrid, stayed on 55 points from 20 games, 11 ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid.
Atletico host Levante on Sunday when Real Madrid, 18 points off the pace in third, visit Valencia.
Earlier, Rayo Vallecano's impressive surge up the table was halted when they lost 2-0 at Granada and missed a chance to consolidate their position in the European qualifying places.
Granada took the lead when Rayo defender Jordi Amat turned the ball into his own net under pressure from Odion Ighalo in the 24th, and Recio completed only their second home win of the campaign with a low shot 10 minutes from time.
Rayo stayed sixth with 31 points, while Sociedad's victory over Barca put them ninth with 29.
Messi had already fired wide in a one-on-one with the keeper when he stroked Barca in front from the edge of the area in the seventh minute at Anoeta.