It was an enticing affair, but it took 42 minutes for the first major chance to be created. Vinícius wriggled past a couple of defenders as he cut inside from the right, but his shot was straight at Remiro, who parried it away.
3 minutes after the break, Vinícius went past two players as he cut inside, but his shot was poor. However, he was adjudged to have been fouled just before he took the shot, and a penalty was awarded, which Ramos converted.
In the 68th minute, Januzaj smashed one into the net from outside the box, but Merino, who was in an offside position, was deemed to have obstructed Courtois’ vision, and the goal did not stand.
A minute later at the other end, Benzema took a ball down using his shoulder, and then scored. After a VAR check, the goal stood.
Sociedad finally scored in the 83rd minute. Lopez found Merino at the far post, and the midfielder smashed it into the roof of the net.
But they failed to get a second, and so it ended 1-2 to the visitors.
It was an engaging match in terms of tactics. Both sides pressed in the midfield, and committed a lot of fouls there too. They also looked to keep possession, and break the opposing defences down through passing.
Madrid also tried to use the pace of Vinícius using some long balls to find him.
Vinícius vs Gorosabel – The young winger was very threatening throughout the match, and although Gorosabel contained him a lot of times, he was beaten at times too, for example just before the penalty.
Álex Remiro – Made a couple of good saves, but ended up conceding 2. 5.5
Andoni Gorosabel – Decent against Vinícius, but he let him go at times. 5.75
Diego Llorente – Alright at the back, but he gave away a very needless penalty for the opener. 5.5
Robin Le Normand – Good at the back, as he made quite a few challenges and clearances to keep things tight. 6.5
Nacho Monreal – Decent down the left, but he didn’t have any attacking impact. 5.75
Igor Zubeldia – His passing in midfield was decent, but he failed to do too much at either end. 6
Mikel Merino – Alright in midfield, and good in attack too. Was offside in the Januzaj goal, but did well to get one later on. 6.75
Portu – Didn’t manage to have a major impact down either flank. 4.75
Martin Ødegaard – Clearly he has some love towards his parent club, because he seemingly didn’t want to harm them. 4.25
Mikel Oyarzabal – Created a couple of chances, but he didn’t have a major impact. 5.5
Alexander Isak – Had a couple of chances, but he failed to affect the match. 4.75
Aritz Elustondo – Looked lively down the right after he came on, as he did well to keep Vinícius in check. 6.25
Adnan Januzaj – Cruelly denied an equaliser, but did well after coming on as he tried to make things happen. 6.5
Team – Sociedad did well to take the game to Real, and ended up with 51% of the possession. They created some good openings too, and were rather unlucky with the disallowed goal and the Benzema shoulder-control thereafter. Their defence seemed a bit porous at times, and they lacked a creative spark for most of the match. A slightly unlucky defeat for them, but they did well. 6
Thibaut Courtois – Had little to do, but he made a couple of good saves. 6
Dani Carvajal – Strong defensively, as he patrolled the right flank. 6.25
Raphaël Varane – Made a few good clearances, but he didn’t have too much to do. 6.5
Sergio Ramos – Had little to do in defence, and he also converted a penalty. Picked up an unfortunate knee injury, though. 6.5
Marcelo Vieira – Alright in defence, but he had little attacking impact. 5.75
Federico Valverde – Good in midfield, and he did very well to assist the second goal too. 6.5
Casemiro – Strong in holding midfield, as he screened his defence well. 6.75
Toni Kroos – Great in the middle of the park, as he defended well, and helped his side in attack too. 6.75
James Rodríguez – Saw a good amount of the ball, but he didn’t manage to do too much. 5.75
Karim Benzema – Had a few good chances, and got a rather lucky goal. 6.5
Vinícius Júnior – Extremely menacing down the left, as he caused lots of problems thanks to his pace and dribbling ability. Won a penalty too. 7.25
Éder Militão – Defended well after he was brought on. 6
Team – Madrid were the better team in the first half, but failed to take an advantage. They managed to score twice in the second though, as some arguable decisions fell their way. They defended respectably, but could have done better to not concede. Either way, they won’t mind the scoreline, because they are now at the top of the La Liga table. 6.25
Xavier Estrada Fernández had an easy first half, but a very controversial second. In my view, the first two calls (the penalty and disallowed goal) were alright, as they could be debated either way. But Benzema’s goal should never have stood. 5.75
What This Means:
Sociedad stay 6th, and are level on points with Villarreal.
This win takes Real Madrid up to the top of the table thanks to a better head-to-head record against Barcelona.
- La Liga Matchday 22: Three Best Games to Watch
- Barcelona vs Real Madrid: Supercopa de Espana 2022 Preview, H2H & Predicted Line-ups
- La Liga Preview & Predictions: January 8, 2022
- What Sevilla Need to Do to Win La Liga Title This Season?
- Atletico Madrid vs Real Sociedad – La Liga Preview
- Champions League Semi-Final: Chelsea vs Real Madrid Preview
- La Liga 4-way title race and fantasy football picks for this weekend
- Villarreal vs Barcelona – La Liga Preview, Team News & Predicted Line-ups
- La Liga ESL decision rests on presidents’ shoulders
- Ronald Koeman wins first trophy as Barcelona head coach