Gabon international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was on target as Barcelona snatched a 1-0 La Liga victory against a stubborn Real Sociedad at Reale Arena on Thursday night.
The 32-yer-old scored the all-important goal in the 11th minute to help Barcelona move to second on the 20-team table with 63 points from 32 matches. Aubameyang, who moved to the Catalans giants in February, should have scored early on as he missed a clear chance after being put through by Ousmane Dembele.
Dembele also had a chance to put Barcelona ahead in the ninth minute but his weak effort whizzed over the bar. However, it was the former Arsenal captain who put them ahead after his glancing header, following a pass from ex-Manchester City player Ferran Torres, and beat the outstretched hands of goalkeeper Alex Remiro.
In the process, Aubameyang became Barcelona’s joint-top goalscorer this season with Memphis Depay on 11 goals in all competitions. The Gabon international has now netted in nine La Liga encounters as well as twice more in the Europa League.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has nine La Liga goals in 11 appearances 👍 pic.twitter.com/5KdDdqXm52— GOAL (@goal) April 22, 2022
The goal gave Barcelona some confidence and they continued to attack Sociedad, and it was Dembele who once again got another great chance to score the second, but his well-worked effort was stopped by Remiro.
Aubameyang could have doubled the score in the 34th minute but after an inviting cross from Dani Alves, he opted to dribble instead of shooting and was cut out by Sociedad defender Joseba Zaldua.
Sociedad’s first real chance of the game came in the 54th minute when Alexander Isak found himself unmarked inside Barcelona’s danger zone, but his final effort was easily dealt with by goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who dived the right way to push it out for a fruitless corner.
Aubameyang was later withdrawn for Luuk de Jong with nine minutes left to the final whistle. His goal also helped Barcelona to return to winning ways in the top-flight as they had lost 1-0 against Cadiz on Monday.
A first league goal of the season for Aubameyang came against Valencia in a 4-1 victory on February 20, when he netted twice. In last season's Premier League, he played in 29 games for Arsenal, scored 10 goals, and provided three assists.
Barcelona and Aubameyang will next face Rayo Vallecano at Camp Nou on Sunday.