Real Madrid completed back-to-game preseason games in the Torneo de Léon with a 2-0 loss to Real Sociedad.
David Aznar deployed his starting eleven in a 4-4-2 diamond, with Lucía Rodríguez operating as a makeshift left back and winger Marta Cardona up top alongside Nahikari García.
It’s a system that has served Madrid well in the past and in preseason, even if it isn’t perfectly optimized for particular pieces.
The first half was tightly contested, as expected between two teams expected to vie for Champions League spots in 2021/22, though Madrid began to gain the upper hand as the minutes wore on. Their pressing caused serious problems down La Real’s left, eventually forcing a lot of long balls from the back.
Real Sociedad didn’t make it easy defensively, staying very compact in midfield to counter Madrid’s superiority through the center. However, Cardona was excellent, roaming into the right spaces at the right times to break lines and facilitate danger.
Las Blancas created the best chance of the game to end the first period of play, but Nahikari could only place her effort wide vs. her ex-club.
Real Sociedad regained their verve in the second half and more consistently threatened in Madrid’s area. This paid off for La Real in the 63rd minute, when substitute Cecilia converted off of a rebound.
Gol de la Real Sociedad, que se adelanta en el encuentro. Nada pudo hacer Misa Rodríguez en el rechace.— Misa Malena Ortiz (@Misa_CF) August 15, 2021
Queda algo menos de 30 minutos para conseguir remontar.#HalaMadrid | #RealMadridRealSociedad pic.twitter.com/1caOv2HBGQ
Aznar reacted by subbing off Maite Oroz for Athenea del Castillo to make it a 4-3-3; later, he brought on fullback Marta Corredera as a central midfielder in addition to a few other changes (rather difficult to tell when the stream imploded for most of the final minutes). Most of them didn’t have an effect aside from Athenea, whose 1v1 ability and speed brought some threat back to Madrid’s attack.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough, as Cecilia bagged another in the dying seconds to close out an impressive second half performance for Real Sociedad.
Real Madrid Femenino will play in another friendly on Thursday against Fundación Albacete.