Lionel Messi brace helps Barcelona to win over Real Sociedad

Gonzalo Higuain Juventus Barcellona Champions League

Gonzalo Higuain Juventus Barcellona Champions League

Lionel Messi put in a man-of-the-match performance to help Barcelona return to winning ways after consecutive defeats against Malaga and Juventus as they beat Real Sociedad 3-2 at Camp Nou.

Barca then restored their two-goal lead two minutes later as Messi turned provider to play in Paco Alcacer, who slotted home from close.

Messi scored the first two goals of the game to give Barca a solid cushion before Sociedad clawed back to make it 3-2 at halftime.

Barcelona continues to chase rival Madrid in the league race.

The Argentine opened the scoring with a sensational strike in the 17th minute, finding the bottom corner from 25 yards out.

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Rulli saved Suarez's angled shot at the near post, with the rebound falling into Messi's path - and the ball hooked off his trailing leg into an empty net.

#Messi500... just two left...

Umtiti was unfortunate to score in his own net after Inigo Martinez's shot thumped off the Barcelona centre-back and past Marc-Andre ter Stegen just five minutes later, cutting the home side's goal advantage down to one.

That being said, not for the first time of late, Barcelona showed their share of weakness in a far-from-perfect display, although there is comfort to be taken knowing Enrique can rely on his backups to pull through for the team.

On 72 minutes, Ter Stegen was nearly caught out by a long-range lob from Asier Illarramendi which the German tipped onto the crossbar.

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