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Barcelona put themselves back into second place in LaLiga with a 2-0 win over Real Sociedad at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys.

Despite losing the Catalan derby last weekend, Girona’s subsequent draw at Alaves on Friday opened the door for Xavi’s side to regain the initiative in the battle for the runners-up spot behind champions Real Madrid.

Teenager Lamine Yamal struck in the first half and Raphinha added a second from the penalty spot in stoppage time as Barca moved a point clear of Girona with three games to go.

Ahead of kick-off, there was a minute’s silence in memory of former Barca coach Cesar Luis Menotti, who guided his native Argentina to World Cup success in 1978, and also for head of Real Sociedad’s academy Mitxel Badiola, who died on Saturday after suffering a heart attack while driving to watch one of the club’s youth sides.

Real Sociedad, chasing a place in the Europa League next season, created an early opening when Sheraldo Becker fired over from a tight angle.

Becker then thought he had opened the scoring after 22 minutes when racing clear from the halfway line onto a long ball to drill past Marc-Andre ter Stegen – but his celebrations were cut short for what looked a marginal offside.

Barcelona’s Raphinha (left) challenges for the ball
Real Sociedad had made a positive start at the Olimpic Lluis Companys (Joan Monfort/AP)

Yamal had an angled shot blocked before Robert Lewandowski then sent a tame header straight at Sociedad keeper Alex Remiro.

Barca went close when Raphinha’s low curling shot from the edge of the box struck the base of the post and the rebound fell back for Ilkay Gundogan, who sent his effort over the crossbar.

The home side broke the deadlock five minutes before the break. Lewandowski’s pass from the centre-circle released Gundogan down the left and he cut the ball back to 16-year-old Yamal, who dispatched a first-time effort into the bottom corner.

Becker dragged a low effort wide after again being found in space down the left.

At the start of the second half, Raphinha’s rising drive from the edge of the penalty area sailed just over.

The Brazilian took aim again just after the hour mark when he clipped a 20-yard effort towards the top left corner, which Remiro acrobatically palmed away.

Sociedad went close to an equaliser when Brais Mendez latched onto a stray pass from Gundogan to weave into the Barca box – but dragged his left-foot shot just wide of the far post.

With 15 minutes left, Barca substitute Ferran Torres almost made an instant impact when his low shot was tipped away by Remiro.

Arsen Zakharyan clipped a late free-kick over the Barca defensive wall, but Ter Stegen was well positioned to make the save.

In stoppage time, Barca were awarded a penalty for handball by Sociedad substitute Alvaro Odriozola following a free-kick, which was given after a VAR review. Raphinha made no mistake, firing into the bottom right corner.

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