Real Madrid 0-0 Real Sociedad. A share of the spoils for Madrid. This is my immediate reaction. Coming up: Player ratings, post game press conference quotes and a podcast.
Real Madrid would be hoping to ride on the wave of the derby win earlier in the week and sweep Real Sociedad away with it. The Basque club always posed a big threat in any game, but they were currently flying in third place behind only Barcelona and Los Blancos themselves. Dani Ceballos was rewarded for his cup heroics with a start here, and he was accompanied by Eduardo Camavinga who continued his left-back experiment. Nacho Fernández continued to play on the other side at right-back, and Rodyrgo Goes started ahead of him on the wings - meaning that Fede Valverde would slide back into midfield. Luka Modrić and Eden Hazard were on the bench. Karim Benzema captained Real Madrid.
The game started positively as Karim Benzema kept the ball away from two defenders against the odds, but he couldn't find a square pass inside the box. Vinícius Júnior should have scored the first goal, but he missed poorly after a good bit of skill to create the chance. Asier Illarramendi almost hit one from distance for the visitors but it flew wide. Toni Kroos had a decent opportunity after some good combination play and a set allowed him to shoot from outside of the box - but it was parried away by the keeper. Alexander Sørloth could have put his side ahead if a cross into the box was slightly more accurate. Before the half was out there was one more miss from Vinícius Júnior, who couldn't direct his low shot past the keeper. 0-0 at half time.
Fede Valverde had the first chance of the second half when his powerful shot sped past the post. Sociedad then came close twice, with Takefusa Kubo taking a good touch towards goal before accidently clattering Thibaut Courtois in the chest which resulted in a yellow card being shown. Courtois was called into action again, this time with an easy save from Robert Navarro’s effort. Vinícius then found himself in again, only for Álex Remiro to once again come out on top - tipping his lofted shot over the target. It was starting to look like Madrid might not be able to break that deadlock as we entered the final ten minutes... Other than a flash ball into the box by Luka Modrić - Sociedad did well to keep the game at a manageable pace and grind out a draw. In fact, if not for Courtois they could have lost it right at the end. The match finished with the score at 0-0. What do you think about the game?