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Three stats from Real Madrid 2-1 Real Sociedad

Fran García set the team on their way to victory

Real Madrid CF v Real Sociedad - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid were forced to come from behind for the second time in five games this season after conceding their first goal at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu of the campaign, before eventually coming back to beat Real Sociedad 2-1.

It was Ander Barrenetxea who opened the scoring to give Real Sociedad a 1-0 lead early on, after just five minutes, being set up by ex-Madridista Take Kubo. Still holding that lead until the break, Fede Valverde struck back seconds into the second half and Joselu completed the turnaround just after the hour mark.

Here are three of the stand-out stats from the game which help to understand what went right for Carlo Ancelotti’s team.

2: Assists from Fran García

This was not Fran García’s best game in a Real Madrid shirt, far from it, and yet he still had a match-changing influence as he provided the two assists which would see his team come from behind to win the game.

It was the first time in his 187-game career that he has ever recorded two assists in a single game, and is even more impressive given that he only recorded three in the entirety of last season with Rayo Vallecano, and had previously only had one assist in the 2021/22 campaign.

This time, he set up Fede Valverde with a well-weighted pass where the Uruguayan added the magic touch, but his cross to Joselu was pinpoint and put it on a plate for the centre forward to give his team the lead.

The left-back had endured a dreadful first half, failing to win with his only attempted tackle and winning only three of his eight ground duels, with Take Kubo running rings around him down Real Madrid’s left flank at times. However, he bounced back with two impressive passes in 14 minutes to turn the result on its head.

These were not, however, his first assists for the Real Madrid first team. That came in 2018 in the Copa del Rey, when he set up Isco for a sixth goal for the team in a 6-1 win over UD Melilla at the Bernabéu. This time, the assists mattered a little more.

40: Seconds in the second half before Real Madrid made it 1-1

When Fede Valverde smashed a rocket of an effort in to the back of the net from just outside the box early on in the second period, it was a clear statement of intent from Los Blancos that they would fight their way back into this game. It was a good job it came so early too, as Real Sociedad had never before lost after taking a lead into the half-time break at the Bernabéu in LaLiga.

The goal came after just 40 seconds of the second period, and such a rapid strike was essential to Carlo Ancelotti’s game plan. It also made it the earliest goal since February 24th, 2018, when Gareth Bale scored after 27 seconds of the first half against Alavés to make it 2-0 in what would be a 4-0 win at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu.

For the Uruguayan specifically, it also took his tally to five out of his last seven Real Madrid goals that have come from outside the box. His strike had an xG of just 0.06, ranking it 11th out of Real Madrid’s 14 shots on the night for the probability of it finding the back of the net according to the expected goals measure.

The equalising goal opened Valverde’s account for the season after five games and 0.54 xG across the minutes played before his strike hit the back of the net. After last season’s blockbuster start to the season, with two goals and an assist to his name by the end of match day five, this may seem a slow start, but the midfielder continues to make progress.

4/4: Joselu’s record of scoring in all 4 of his appearances at the Bernabéu as a Real Madrid player

As he leapt like a salmon at the far post, Joselu gave Real Madrid the lead and scored his fourth goal with the Real Madrid first team, scoring in consecutive matches at the Bernabéu and taking his tally to four goals in four matches at the stadium while wearing the famous white jersey of Los Blancos.

Two of those came in 2011, and now two have come in 2023. In 2011, they came against Ponferradina as a substitute in the Copa del Rey, and later against Almería, again as a substitute in LaLiga. This year, they have come in back-to-back league fixtures against Getafe and now Real Sociedad.

He once again registered a high expected goals figure with 0.81 xG from his 62 minutes of action, with 0.33 coming from his goal and a further 0.32 coming from a great chance which he sent against the crossbar in the first half.

The target man forward played alongside Rodrygo Goes before being taken off on the hour mark for a change of shape, with Jude Bellingham moving into an even more advanced role with the team effectively operating without a centre forward for the final 28 minutes of normal time and injury time.

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