The keeper made two important saves from Diego Ifran and Antoine Griezmann but could do nothing about Carlos Vela's well-struck effort that made it 2-1.
Made one fantastic challenge to thwart Ifran at the end of the first half but was turned more than once by the impressive Griezmann, and was fortunate that Valdes was on hand to save from the Frenchman on one particular occasion.
His lack of pace was exposed by Ifran early on, but apart from that it was a solid performance from the defender. Tidied up well at the start of the second half after Griezmann had turned Mascherano inside the area.
The Brazilian full-back shot wide in the first half with his only real goalscoring chance but made some brilliant runs into the Sociedad penalty area that created a number of chances that his teammates should have scored from. Unfortunate to get in the way of Tello's goalbound shot in the second half.
Solid throughout without ever really stamping his influence on the game. Drifted in and out of play over the course of the match.
Full of running and never afraid to take on his marker, Cuenca linked well with Messi and Tello and set up a fine chance for Thiago in the first half that the midfielder should have scored from.
Performed well in a more withdrawn role than to what he has grown accustomed to recently. Provided experience alongside the youthful Thiago and Jonathan Dos Santos in central midfield. He will have been disappointed to have shot over from 10 yards after bursting into the penalty area in the first half.
J. dos Santos
Put in an assured performance in midfield, linking with his attackers to good effect and looking far from out of place alongside the likes of Cesc and Thiago.
Guilty of some wayward passing in the first half, he improved as the game wore on and kept the ball well as his side defended their lead late on.
Provided an inch perfect pass to set up Tello for the first goal but will have been frustrated by his own lack of killer instinct in the first half. He made up for his earlier missed chances by scoring a neat goal in the second half after latching on the end of a great pass by Dani Alves.
Gave Barcelona the lead with a composed finish in the ninth minute. A vibrant performance from the lightning quick attacker who was always willing to take on Sociedad's full backs. Would have got a second if not for Dani Alves's intervention from an offside position.
Made a handful of fine saves from Messi early on but could do little to stop Tello from opening the scoring, or Messi's well-struck half volley in the second half.
Struggled against Barcelona's fluent front line. Scythed down Puyol in the first half that resulted in a yellow card. A disappointing performance.
Endured a torrid time at the hands of Tello and Cuenca and was pegged back by the impressive youngsters for much of the game.
Like Carlos Martinez, Cadamuro struggled throughout against Tello and Cuenca. Failed to support his side in attack.
Allowed Messi far too much space to play a one-two and then set up Tello for the first goal. Made a good block from Messi to keep the score at 1-0 in the second half after the attacker had rounded Bravo.
The normally impressive midfielder was quiet throughout and will have no complaints about being withdrawn in the second half after performing poorly this evening.
Could do nothing in the first half as Barcelona dominated possession. Improved slightly in the second half, but still failed to have any real impact on the game as Cesc, Thiago and Dos Santos played the ball around him.
- 27 Rubén Pardo
The most impressive of a poor bunch of Sociedad midfielders. Aranburu made some key challenges to break up some Barcelona attacks but will have been disappointed by his lack of impact going forward.
Forced Valdes into making a wonderful save in the opening minutes of the game. Perhaps disappointed to be withdrawn for Vela in the second half although it did look like he may have been carrying a knock.
Sent Ifran free with a fine through ball early on. Shot straight at Valdes after breaking past Mascherano early in the second half before providing the assist for Vela's goal with a well-weighted pass.
- 13 Pinto
Helped shore up his side's defense after coming on in the second half.
Like Pique, introduced in the second half to help his side see out the win and performed his role well.
- 6 Xavi
Suffered what looks like a serious injury late on after coming on as a substitute. A disappointing night for the midfielder.
- 30 Sergi Roberto
- 9 A. Sánchez
- 25 Toño
- 22 Dani Estrada
- 16 V. Demidov
Scored Sociedad's only goal of the game; a well-taken effort that gave Valdes in the Barcelona goal no chance. A decent cameo from the former Arsenal man.
His only contribution to the game after being brought on late on was to be shown a yellow card by the referee. Disappointing from the attacker.
No time to have any impact on the game after being brought on as a Sociedad chased a draw late on.