There are objectives that seem like punishments, like the runners-up finish that Barcelona is fighting against Girona. The prize is a ticket to next year’s Super Cup, the fourth most important title. In one of those long league days, the Blaugrana on Monday took advantage of the tie their neighbors from Girona held last Friday to make a slow-motion overtake, almost out of obligation, to regain second position in the League.

Despite the irregular course, there is no revolution in sight but rather Barça is going to compete with the same weapons as almost all season. With the same ones that defeated Real Sociedad. The imbalance of Lamine Yamal, the cannon of Raphinha and the light – when it turns on – of Gündogan were enough arguments for a team that got into shape after a slow start. Remiro, who lived the first half hour very calmly, avoided a more peaceful victory for Xavi’s team, who once again depended on themselves. That is to say, from the extreme of the youth team, the willful Brazilian and the know-how of the German veteran.

The presence of tourists in the stands is easily detectable because they are more attentive to the players’ highlights. There were a few of tunnels, roulette wheels and croquette dribbles because there is a lot of individual quality in Barça but during the first half hour there was hardly any continuity in the game and the ability to create danger, which is what separates a football team from a good collection of stickers.

The first play suggested that the Blaugrana wanted to quickly take advantage of Girona’s setback last Friday. Cancelo, Pedri and Raphinha combined well and quickly and were in the area before the first minute but Lewandowski could not reach the Brazilian’s cross.

It happens with the winger who continues alternating one of lime and one of sand, that a good unmarking is followed by an imprecise attempt to assist, always more active without the ball than successful with possession, like when he surpassed Elustondo and wanted to give back to anyone .

Imanol surprised Xavi by choosing Becker to accompany Oyarzabal in the forward duo instead of Kubo. That coincided with the decision of the Barcelona coach to do without Araújo in the axis of the defense. Everything that the Japanese Take Kubo has when it comes to skill, Becker has when it comes to speed. The Suriname footballer was a real nuisance against the young Cubarsí, who had to run a lot chasing the attacks into the space of the visitor’s forward, who had more weight in the game than Lewandowski in the other field.

Barça was not comfortable because between Brais, Merino and Turrientes, substitute for the injured Zubimendi, they made them dizzy until they began to find Gündogan between the lines. The German interior provides that necessary pause for daylight in the attack and with his actions he turned on the light that was scarce because Remiro had barely had to intervene.

First he made a one-two inside the area with Lamine Yamal, whom he set up for the shot. When the youth player was about to beat the goalkeeper, Pacheco appeared from behind to take the ball from him. Shortly after, the former City man slipped through the center to the front and supported Pedri, who quickly left Raphinha in front of him. The Brazilian’s good low shot was repelled by Remiro’s post.

On Gündogan’s third appearance Barça did find the goal. This time it was Lewandowski who made a great move in the center circle to turn and throw deep to his colleague. The pass dismantled Real’s three centre-backs and gave the advantage to Gündogan, who very generously set up Lamine Yamal on his right. At first, the youth player did not think twice and crossed with his left foot before Remiro came out to make it 1-0.

The two veterans teamed up to invite the young man. The two signed stars made it easy for the pearl of the house. Something that should happen more, that the stars were the ones to help and help the boys at La Masia with responsibility. The winger, for his part, had not scored for two months, since the goal against Mallorca at the beginning of March, another duel that decided the youth team.

Barcelona’s good finish to the first half gave confidence to the team, especially to Raphinha who took the pleasure of showing off his good ball-striking. After a practiced corner he tried it but it went high. Yes, he found the door with another good thread that went to the top corner, but he also found a great response with the flight of Remiro, who after he shined again against Ferran Torres, Lewandowski’s substitute, who was left unable to get close to Dovbyk.

If Gündogan had activated his team, he was about to do the same with his rival. Brais Méndez almost took advantage of his mistake at the start, but the Galician crossed too far after entering the area. Real Sociedad had decided to stretch in search of the Europa League and Ter Stegen caught Kubo’s shots and a Zakharian foul.

It seemed that Barça could suffer in the final stretch, the VAR warned Cuadra Fernández with some delay of some hands from Odriozola in the area. The referee went to see the play and declared a penalty to the anger of the people from San Sebastian. Without Lewandowski, Raphinha was in charge of converting the maximum penalty with his cannon. Barça passes Girona on the left.

Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Kound, Inigo Martinez, Cubarsi, Cancelo, Gündogan (Romeu 94), Christensen (Sergi Roberto 69), Pedri (Fermin 69), Lamine Yamal, Lewandowski (Ferran 76) and Raphinha

Coach: Xavi Hernández

Real Society: Remiro, Traoré (Odriozola 79), Aritz Elustondo, Le Normand, Pacheco (Tierney 69), Turrientes, Merino, Brais Mendez (Zakharyan 79), Oyarzabal, Aramburu (Barrene 69), and Becker (Take Kubo 69).

Coach: Imanol Alguacil

Stadium: Olímpic Lluís Companys (35,829 spectators).

Referee: Cuadra Fernández (Balearic).

Cards: Yellow cards to Gundogan, Aramburu, Pacheco, Odriozola and Raphinha.

Goals: 1-0 Lamine Yamal (40); 2-0 Raphinha (p) (94)