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Liga BBVA 2015-16: Real Madrid vs Real Sociedad Match Review

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Poring over the final game of the calendar year.

Back to form.
Back to form.
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

The first half began in a decent manner for Real Madrid but despite creating a few chances when they broke into Sociedad's third they were unable to capitalize and make them count. In reality though, Sociedad did a good job of defending and were very unfortunate as the first period was marred by controversy when Karim Benzema took a dive in the box to win Madrid a penalty. Justice was served though as Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up to hit a penalty over the crossbar for the first time in his professional career. Following this we saw Sociedad adopt a more courageous strategy as they brought the game to Madrid and began to cause a few more problems.

Afterwards, a nice attacking move resulted in a Luka Modric shot from just outside the box which traveled straight at Rulli in the Sociedad goal. La Real were certainly in the game and fighting hard but unfortunately for them they were ravaged by another dodgy penalty call against them as Bale's cross flicked up off the thigh of Yuri onto his arm and this time Ronaldo made amends by emphatically stroking home. It must be noted that Bale was probably the stand-out performer for Real Madrid in the first half as his powerful runs at pace were causing the Sociedad defenders all sorts of problems.

Pepe too was playing well and he made an inspired run up the pitch with the ball at his feet playing a couple of one-two's in the process and nearly got on the end of the resultant cross. Nobody can say that Madrid weren't trying to entertain despite making hard work of things thus far. The first half soon came to a close with Madrid leading 1 goal to nil. The second period began in odd fashion as Madrid looked set to continue pushing for the second goal but were beset by an equalizer from Real Sociedad. In the build up to the goal it looked as though Pepe was fouled, pushed off the ball by Jonathas who proceeded to tee up Bruma who made no mistake with a beautiful curled effort straight into the top corner. There was no way even the fantastic Keylor Navas was saving that one.

Madrid looked to respond instantly but Ronaldo's volleyed effort was from an impossible angle and went narrowly wide. Danilo who had not closed Bruma well enough to deny him the space to fashion the equalizer seemed to be all at sea as he dived into a tackle recklessly leaving space with which Bruma could run into. Luckily Pepe came across to snuff out the danger. Then he was beat to the header allowing Bruma to once again run in behind the real Madrid defence. Fortunately his touch let him down and Navas smothered the ball to deny him. Real Sociedad to their credit were starting to pass the ball around nicely and kept possession within the Real Madrid half and for the first twenty minutes of the second half they looked more likely to take the lead. Los Blancos had not pressed their opposition and gave them too much space but the midfielders and forwards also didn't work hard enough defensively. This is a worrying trend and should be rectified as soon as possible.

Madrid eventually woke up, perhaps with some help from the whistling of the fans in the Santiago Bernabéu who had remained patient up until that point. A couple of corners were won by the home outfit who began to mount a little pressure. It told as Marcelo's deep outswinging ball was met by Ronaldo who scored a fantastic volley with his left boot whilst moving backwards to meet it. It was a great strike worthy of putting Madrid ahead. From then onwards Madrid continued to create chances with their attacking forays and James, who had made one of those chances for a stinging Gareth Bale shot from the edge of the area, was replaced Kovacic. In truth, it wasn't a good game from the Colombian who is expected to do better if he is to justify his selection over Isco for example. Benzema who had connected the play well upfront as usual was also taken off for Lucas Vázquez.

The second goal seemed to kick some of the heart out of La Real as their attacks became less potent as the game wore on. Madrid were finding it easier to keep possession and it seemed as though it was a case of game management to ride out to a 2-1 victory. However, a brilliant flowing counter attacking move from Madrid enabled Ronaldo to find Bale who in turn picked out Vázquez with a delightful cross. However, even more sublime was the collected first touch by the former Castilla product and he proceeded to find the back of the net with composure. That goal essentially wrapped up the game and Casemiro was brought on for Modric to shore it up defensively in midfield and see out the remaining five minutes. A good result then for Los Blancos who didn't entirely convince and had fortune in their favour today even if their class eventually shone through. Lets hope for a better year now as we look ahead to 2016.