What crisis at the Camp Nou? Barcelona are still on track for another domestic double as they are only two points behind Real Madrid in La Liga and on Thursday they booked their place in the Copa del Rey semi-finals thanks to two goals from Denis Suarez.
The usual suspects did the rest. Leo Messi scored his 28th goal of the season and Luis Suarez his 20th. And midfielder Arda Turan came on to get his 13th goal of the season in what was a comfortable win.
This was always going to be a tough task for Real Sociedad, who have not won at the Camp Nou in 26 years, and the climb became steeper after just 20 minutes when Denis Suarez broke the deadlock.
Luis Suarez teed him up with a clever flicked assist and the former Manchester City midfielder finished neatly into the far corner. It was Suarez’ 49th assist since signing two seasons ago.
Real Sociedad were offering little going forward with Carlos Vela more intent on tangling with Neymar than threatening the Barcelona goal. Both players were booked and the Brazilian had to be pulled away from the referee in case he talked himself into a second yellow.
Messi was having a quiet first hand and without Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta, we were not seeing a lot of Barcelona’s trademark passing but the one smooth move had been enough to give them the lead.
Barça were having trouble with the fitness of their full-backs: Sergio Roberto went down injured when Willian Jose and Gerard Pique went flying into him. And Willian Jose was involved again after break when he clashed with Jordi Alba. Sergio Roberto was replaced by Aleix Vidal at half time, Alba played on as Barça looked to extend their advantage.
Tempers frayed when Yuri pulled back Luis Suarez and the Uruguayan elbowed him in the stomach bringing a booking from the referee after protests from Real Sociedad players.
Willian Jose then had the chance to make it 1-1 on the night but despite Jasper Cillessen going to ground early the visiting striker missed his big chance and Real Sociedad paid for the miss almost immediately.
Neymar raced away from Iñigo Martinez and when the Spain defender ceremonially clattered him it was an easy spot-kick call and Messi put the penalty in the corner past Gero Rulli to make it 3-0 on aggregate.
Juanmi came on for Real Sociedad, sporting the peroxide blond mop-top of hair that Antoine Griezmann favoured when he played for them.
He promptly scored the kind of goal the Frenchman used to score. Iñigo Martinez dinked the ball over the top and Juanmi’s lobbed finish left Real Sociedad needing just two more goals.
t least that was the way things were for a minute. Real were back in it for just sixty seconds as Suarez ran on to Messi’s pass to finish with two touches. That made it 3-1 on the night and 4-1 on aggregate.
Real Sociedad kept going forward and Willian Jose got between Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique to crash a header past Cillessen but again Barcelona replied and this time at the double.
First substitute Arda Turan scored at the back post to make it 4-2. It was his 13th goal this season, no midfielder has scored more in Spain. And then Denis Suarez waltzed through Real Sociedad’s defence on to a pass from the bearded wonder Messi, rounding Rulli to score his second of the night and fourth in two games.
The 5-2 finish left it 6-2 on aggregate and Barcelona join Alaves, Atletico Madrid and Celta Vigo in Friday’s draw.