Real Madrid displayed a winning attitude and great team work to beat Real Sociedad while playing with 10 men for almost the entire game.
Real Madrid hosted Real Sociedad for their first game of 2013 in a match that turned out to be more eventful than expected. Jose Mourinho chose to start Adan in goal ahead of Iker Casillas for the second consecutive game and gave Cristiano Ronaldo the captain's armband.
Karim Benzema put los blancos ahead after only 90 seconds, finishing off a nice through pass from Khedira. Two minutes later, however, Adan's inexperience cost Real Madrid when he gave away a penalty and received a red card for bringing down Vela. Iker Casillas was called into action replacing Jose Callejon. Despite the loud chants of "IKER" upon his entrance on the pitch, Casillas was unable to save Xabi Prieto's penalty. Cristiano Ronaldo offered the captain's armband to Casillas, but he humbly refused which could only be seen as signs of unity and maturity amongst the team.
After the goal, Real Madrid sat deep and gave Real Sociedad the majority of the possession, however, the visitors were unable to create many chances in the final third. Sami Khedira then scored a cheeky goal, flicking Carvalho's shot into the net. Shortly after, Real Sociedad equalized thanks again to Xabi Prieto. The second half started much the same, but Khedira was instructed to stay further back leading to our offense being short a man. Nevertheless, Cristiano Ronaldo continuously ventured forward and finally put Real Madrid ahead from a Benzema pass with a left footed shot. Three minutes later, Ronaldo was brought down outside the penalty area leading to a lot of complaints (and a yellow card) from Xabi Alonso. Ronaldo then fired his trademark freekick, and the ball somehow found it's way into the net when it really should have been saved.
Higuin made his return after two months of injury in place of Benzema and nearly got a goal within seconds of coming on. Just when it seemed that Real Madrid had secured the victory however, Xabi Prieto put away his third goal of the night giving Real Sociedad some hope. Thankfully, Real Madrid were able to secure the victory with a final score of 4-3.
Jose Mourinho will be very happy with the team's performance. The conceded goals are acceptable given the absence of Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo and playing with 10 men for almost 90 minutes. Xabi Alonso played a brilliant game dictating the play while Khedira showcased his ability to attack with a goal and an assist. Cristiano Ronaldo once again proved why he is one of the best players in the world by taking charge when he was needed, as all captains should. Hopefully tonight's overall performance, team work, and winning attitude are signs of improvement.
Man of the Match?
Cristiano Ronaldo (129 votes)
Xabi Alonso (11 votes)
Sami Kehdira (19 votes)
Mesut Ozil (13 votes)
172 total votes