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Real Madrid took full advantage of Barcelona’s 0-0 draw against Sevilla earlier this week and moved to the top of the standings with a hard-working 2-1 over Real Sociedad on Sunday. Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema found the back of the net for Zinedine Zidane’s men. Real Sociedad pulled one back thanks to Mikel Merino, but they didn’t have enough in them to complete the comeback.
There weren’t a lot of emotions during the first half, as neither side was able to create clear danger in the final meters. Madrid lined up James Rodriguez, Benzema and Vinicius Junior but the attacking trio was unable to mark the difference. Things would change drastically after the break, though, as Los Merengues only needed five minutes to score the opener.
Ramos and Benzema score for Los Merengues
A blistering run from Vinicius Junior inside the box generated a penalty and Sergio Ramos coolly converted from the spot. With his usual composure, the Spain international placed the ball into the right side of the goal while Alejandro Remiro dived the other way. Ramos left the pitch in the 60th minute with an undisclosed injury, however, and was replaced by Eder Militao.
Real Sociedad scored a potential equalizer in the 67th minute when Adnan Januzaj blasted a shot from the edge of the box, but the strike was ruled out due to an apparent offside from a Donostiarra player blocking Thibaut Courtois’ vision. The referee had to check with the VAR and disallowed the goal. However, further replay showed the goal could’ve easily been validated.
To make things even worst for Real Sociedad, Benzema netted Madrid’s second goal only a few minutes later. The Frenchman took advantage from a far post cross from Federico Valverde and, after creating himself an inch of space inside the box, he blasted a shot that went past Remiro. The goalkeeper could’ve made something better with that attempt, though.
Merino pulls one back, but that wasn’t enough
The hosts pulled one back in the 83rd minute when Mikel Merino took advantage of a deep ball inside the box and blasted an unstoppable shot past Courtois. However, that would be everything Real Sociedad would accomplish. They tried to score a late equalizer, but failed in that approach and had to settle for a 2-1 defeat.
With the win, Real Madrid moved to the top of the standings – they are tied with Barcelona at 65 points, but they have conceded fewer goals (21 against Barca’s 31). As for Real Sociedad, they are in sixth place of the standings but have lost their past two games following the restart. They need to bounce back soon if they want to remain alive in the race for a 2020-21 UEFA Champions League berth.
Real Sociedad: Remiro (5); Gorosabel (5) (Elustondo (5), 60’), Llorente (4), Le Normand (6), Monreal (6); Zubeldia (5) (Zubimendi (-), 80’), Mikel Merino (6); Portu (5), Odegaard (5) (Lopez (6), 79’), Oyarzabal (6) (Januzaj (6), 60’); Isak (5) (Willian Jose (-), 79’)
Real Madrid: Courtois (5); Dani Carvajal (6), Varane (5), Sergio Ramos (7) (Eder Militao (5), 60’), Marcelo (6) (Mendy (-), 89’); Kroos (6), Casemiro (7), Valverde (7) (Modric (-), 89’); James (5) (Asensio (-), 78’), Benzema (7) (Mariano (-), 78’), Vinicius Junior (7)
Goals: Sergio Ramos (0-1, 50’, PK), Benzema (0-2, 70’), Mikel Merino (1-2, 83’)
Referee: Javier Estrada Fernandez
Yellow Cards: Zubeldia, Gorosabel, Llorente, Merino (SOC); Casemiro, Modric (RM)
Red Cards: None
Attendance: Behind closed doors