Football: Pedro stunner moves Barca closer to Liga title

Real Sociedad's Mexican forward Carlos Vela (left) tackles Barcelona's defender Marc Bartra on May 9, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP
Real Sociedad's Mexican forward Carlos Vela (left) tackles Barcelona's defender Marc Bartra on May 9, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP

MADRID (AFP) - Pedro Rodriguez scored a stunning overhead kick as Barcelona took another step closer to a 23rd La Liga title with a 2-0 win over Real Sociedad to move five points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the table.

Sociedad goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli kept the visitors in the game during the first-half, but he was finally beaten when Neymar headed home the opener early in the second-half.

And Pedro, who has seen his opportunities limited this season, secured all three points with a sensational acrobatic effort five minutes from time.

Madrid can close back to within two points of the league leaders with victory over fourth-placed Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu later on Saturday.

Barca have now won 28 of their 30 matches since losing to Sociedad in January, but they were made to work for the three points once more by David Moyes's men Luis Enrique made four changes to the Barca side that moved to the brink of the Champions League final with a stunning 3-0 win over Bayern Munich in the first-leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday.

However, the star front three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez were retained and they put Rulli to work early on.

The Argentine youngster made a fine stop to prevent his compatriot Messi heading home the opener and then spread himself well to deny Neymar from close range.

Barcelona were utterly dominant in possession, but couldn't find a way through in the opening 45 minutes as Rulli made another good stop from Gerard Pique before Suarez headed wide when he ought to have scored from an enticing Messi cross.

Rulli continued to frustrate the hosts with another save from Marc Bartra two minutes into the second period.

However, he was helpless moments later when Messi's cross was flicked on by Sociedad defender Mikel Gonzalez and Neymar was on hand to head home his 35th goal of the season.

Enrique brought on Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Pedro in the final half an hour to help see the game out.

And it was the latter who struck the decisive blow when another Messi cross was only half-cleared and he connected sweetly with an overhead kick that flew high past Rulli.