Henceforth Neimer’s goal
Sports Desk: Nine-and-a-half years on, Barcelona finally exorcised the ghosts of Anoeta and left San Sebastian with a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad that sets them up nicely for next week's Copa del Rey second leg.
A Neymar penalty conversion helped Barcelona earn a long-awaited win in their Copa Del Rey quarterfinal first leg on Thursday night.
For Barcelona, it was their first victory on Real Sociedad's home turf in nearly 10 years and halted a wretched winless streak in San Sebastian of eight matches. The Brazilian was the hero on the night for Barcelona, as he both drew and scored the penalty that hands the reigning Copa Del Rey champions an edge going into next week's return leg at the Camp Nou.
Manager Luis Enrique made a few changes from the weekend team that downed Las Palmas, with the most notable insertion being the out of favour Ivan Rakitic back in the starting XI. Also returning to the line-up was goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen and left-back Lucas Digne.
The match had an electric feel to it in the first half, with both teams fiercely battling for every ball and looking to strike quickly. One such run into the Real Sociedad area yielded a penalty for Barcelona after Aritz Elustondo tripped Neymar and the Brazilian coolly converted the spot kick 60 seconds later to give Barcelona a 1-0 lead.
Real Sociedad looked to respond and Mexican striker Carlos Vela set up Asier Illarramendi with a chance to pull the hosts level, but the former Real Madrid man's shot deflected off Gerard Pique and out for a corner kick.