Real Sociedad put in a noteworthy performance at the Bernabéu, but came away empty-handed. The Guipuzcoanos started well then faded a little, and despite taking an early lead, ended losing 3-1 to Real Madrid.
The game could not have got off to a better start. A slip-up in the hosts’ defence left Willian José with just Courtois to beat. The striker made no mistake to put the Donostiarras ahead. Imanol’s side then put in an almost faultless half hour – the team looked sharp, pressed in attack and made it practically impossible for the home side to play comfortable. Zidane’s team stepped up a gear towards the end of the first half and managed to level the score with a well-taken finish from Benzema. All square at the break and very good sensations for the txuri urdin.
Fortune shone on the home team when play resumed. A Valverde shot took a deflection off Oyarzabal leaving Remiro without time to react. Bad luck. That meant the team had t go in search on an equaliser. Real Sociedad continued playing well and mounted several attacks on Madrid’s goal, creating chance to pull level. Odegaard and Willian José both came close to finding the target but Madrid’s insistence and power was what made the difference in the final minutes. Modric beat Remiro with a fierce strike that was difficult to save.
Defeat always leaves a bitter taste but there were plenty of positive conclusions to be drawn from this game. It proved that Real Sociedad have the quality to beat any team – few would dispute that, but at these kinds of grounds you need a little extra. Aupa Real!
Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal, Varane, Sergio Ramos, Mendy, Casemiro, Valverde (Kroos, min.76), Modric (Isco, min.83), Hazard, Rodrygo (Bale, min.67) and Benzema.
Real Sociedad: Remiro, Zaldua, Aritz, Llorente R., Monreal, Zubeldia, Merino, Odegaard, Oyarzabal (cap)(Isak, min.80), Portu (Januzaj, min.73) and Willian J.
Goals: 0-1: Willian J., min.2. 1-1: Benzema, min.37. 2-1: Valverde, min.48. 3-1: Modric, min.74.
Referee: Gil Manzano. Booked Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) and Zaldua (Real Sociedad).