Real Sociedad vs. Real Madrid: Winners and Losers from La Liga Clash
Real Sociedad produced a fantastic and thrilling four-goal comeback to win their first La Liga match of the new season, beating European champions Real Madrid 4-2 at Anoeta on Sunday night.
Madrid took an early lead through Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale and looked set for a big win as they dominated, but by half-time, it was level with Inigo Martinez and David Zurutuza levelling out the score. The latter added another after the break, and sub Carlos Vela wrapped up the impressive win for Sociedad.
Here are all the game's biggest winners and losers.
Winner: Sergio Ramos
It might sound odd to have a centre-back as a winner when his team concede four, but Ramos returned to form in a big way against Real Sociedad.
He was a rock at the back...when the ball came his way. He made some terrific challenges in both halves, including one fantastic first-half block of a Dani Parejo shot, and he was strong in the air at both ends.
One goal was well taken, he almost scored another and cut a determined figure—but was badly let down by those around him.
Alongside Ramos, Pepe was completely dire.
He lost his marker for three of the four goals and generally missed far too much around his own box in open play. The aforementioned Ramos block from Parejo came as a result of two lax moments from Pepe, including a lazy attempt at an overhead clearance in his own box.
The sooner Raphael Varane takes his place, the better for Real Madrid.
Loser: Carlo Ancelotti, His Tactics and His Bench
Carlo Ancelotti might have thought he was in for an easy evening as his side took a 2-0 lead, but his ultraoffensive midfield was eventually overrun, and in truth, Ancelotti waited far too long to do anything about it.
With Sociedad overloading down the channels and bullying Madrid off set pieces—a constant Achilles' heel for them—he may have turned to his bench, but there were not huge options there for him to alter the game plan.
Defensive midfielder Sami Khedira came on to steady things in the centre, but Real already trailed by then. The only attacking option was Raul de Tomas, who did not get on the pitch. All that money spent, but with Cristiano Ronaldo and Jese out injured, options were still limited in the final third.
Winner: Jagoba Arrasate
Ancelotti's opposite number, Jagoba Arrasate, enjoyed a terrific evening on the other hand.
His side were poor in defeat to Eibar and started terribly against Madrid, but they showed great resolve and ability to bounce back and go on and take the game to their opponents.
Whether it was tactics, spirit or opportunism which helped out Sociedad the most is difficult to say, but either way, his team had enough in them to pick up a big victory against tough opposition.
Winners: Carlos Vela and Sergio Canales off the Bench
Vela and Sergio Canales were both named as subs for Sociedad, with the former missing last weekend's season opener and the latter performing well but being left out for tactical reasons.
They both came on to great effect though, with Canales providing great movement and opening up old club Madrid with a pass down the right channel for the third goal, then Vela hitting the fourth himself.
Both are capable of great deeds this season and, should they prove as potent a combination on a regular basis, could propel Sociedad close to the top four.
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