Real Madrid’s return to football after the international break didn’t really get off to a flying start. Ander Barrenetxea found himself in enough space and time to capitalize on Kepa’s squandered ball and put the visitor 1-0 up. Madrid looked completely lost in the opening minutes of the game as Take Kubo’s left-footed curler nearly put La Real 2-0 up, only for the slightest intervention from Oyarzabaal to disallow the goal for an offside in the 10th minute.
It was an action-packed start at the Bernabeu, but not for Real Madrid. Real Sociedad’s scheme was carving Madrid’s press like a hot knife through butter, while the home side struggled to get inside Sociedad’s box.
Madrid’s first real chance came in the 16th minute when Carvajal’s deep run and cutback found Joselu in front of an almost open goal, but his finishing was poor as it scooped over to hit the post. Real Madrid got another chance from the rebound, but Rodrygo’s volleyed effort was too tame. These sequences brought some life back into Madrid’s play. Rodrygo and Joselu both had quality chances, but Alex Remiro kept Madrid at bay on each occasion.
Real Madrid dominated possession, almost matched La Real’s xG, and had an equal number of shots, but somehow it seemed that Real Sociedad was the better side in the first half. Madrid’s midfield never imposed itself on the opposition.
Real Madrid had a change in fortunes at the beginning of the second half. Federico Valverde maintained his scoring touch even after the international break, as he scored with a ridiculous first-time finish from outside the box in the 47th minute to restore parity in the game.
Real Madrid attempted 16 crosses in this game, almost all of them mediocre at best, but Fran Garcia finally arrived with one made of gold. His precise cross found a lurking Joselu, who made no mistake this time to make it 2-1 for the home side. Carlo Ancelotti took Joselu off right after. Modric and Camavinga entered the game for Joselu and Tchouameni. Fran Garcia, having provided two great assists, left the pitch with a standing ovation as Nacho took his place in the 74th minute. Neither team troubled the scorers since Joselu’s thumping header.
This was one of those games a team needs to win if they aspire to win the league. La Real is a difficult team and made it known pretty clearly in this game at the Bernabeu. It wasn’t always pretty, but Real Madrid got the job done and collected three very big points.
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