Guardiola has a defensive crisis after further Barça injuries

Real Sociedad 2 Barcelona 1

With Uefa set to ban Jose Mourinho for up to four games for his post-Champions League semi-final first-leg comments he will wonder if life as Real Madrid coach could get any worse. The answer is: yes, it could.

Had Barcelona not fallen to only their second league defeat of the season the gap at the top would be 11 points and not eight as the two teams prepare to go into battle for the fifth and final time this season tomorrow night.

Barcelona's players watched Real Madrid's lacklustre display against Zaragoza on Saturday and then produced one of their own at the Anoeta Stadium in San Sebastian, meaning both sides lost on the same day for the first time since August 2008.

Of more concern to coach Pep Guardiola will be injuries to Gabriel Milito and young left-back Martin Montoya. Centre-back Milito will miss tomorrow's second leg with a thigh strain and Montoya will be out until next season after breaking his collar bone. The youngster is the fourth left-back Guardiola has lost and he admitted afterwards: "We are very low on numbers and need the help of everyone to finish the job. Madrid will arrive with nothing to lose and it is going to be a very hard game in more ways than one."

The two teams will know Uefa's judgement on the Battle of the Bernabeu before they take to the pitch after European football's governing body brought forward its disciplinary meeting's hearing to today. Goalkeeper Jose Pinto will find out if his part in the half-time fracas last week will cost him more than the one match ban he will serve tomorrow. He started this game as Guardiola left Dani Alves, Sergi Busquets and David Villa out of his starting line-up.

With Cristiano Ronaldo watching Real Madrid's defeat from the stands, Leo Messi started. Regardless of whether Ronaldo was being punished for his post-match comments about not liking his team's negative tactics, or just rested, the extra game for Messi gave him a chance to extend his lead over Ronaldo in the goalscoring charts.

The Argentine could not add to his 31 league goals this season but Barcelona did make a good start when Thiago Alcantara netted on the half hour. The goal meant Pep Guardiola's side became the first team ever to score 45 goals away from home in one La Liga season.

Barcelona threatened more goals in the second half but with Real Sociedad desperate for the points to secure top-flight safety and the visitors already playing with the assured cushion of eight points after Madrid's defeat they let the lead slip. Diego Ifran equalized with 19 minutes left and, after Javier Mascherano brought down David Zurutuza, Xabi Prieto gave the home side the lead from the spot in the 82nd minute.

"It's always better to go into a Champions League game off the back of a win," said Guardiola. He, like Mourinho, must now lift his players, although needing just four points from four games to win the league and being 2-0 up ahead of the second leg will make his task easier than his rival's.

Real Sociedad (4-2-3-1): Bravo; Martinez, Demidov, Gonzalez, Estrada; Rivas (Zurutuza, 68), Markel; Xabi Prieto, Aramburu, Griezmann; Tamudo (Ifran, 68).

Booked Tamudo, Estrada.

Barcelona (4-3-3): Pinto; Montoya (Alves, 13), Pique (Mascherano, 62), Milito (Busquets, 77), Fontas; Xavi, Keita, Thiago; Afellay, Messi, Jeffren.

Booked Mascherano.

* Uefa yesterday handed Frank de Bleeckere the task of refereeing Tuesday's Champions League encounter between Barcelona and Real Madrid – an appointment unlikely to go down well with Mourinho. The Real coach last week accused referees of favouring the Catalan side . The Portuguese was enraged by the dismissal of makeshift midfielder Pepe by Wolfgang Stark and afterwards read out a list of officials he believes have made decisions which have benefited Barça in previous years. De Bleeckere was on that list after opting to send off Thiago Motta in last season's last-four game between Internazionale, then managed by Mourinho, and Barça.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam