Real Sociedad vs. Real Madrid: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

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Real Sociedad vs. Real Madrid: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction
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David Zurutuza scored twice as Real Sociedad came from two goals behind to defeat visiting Real Madrid 4-2 on Sunday in a thrilling La Liga match at the Anoeta.

Madrid led through early strikes by Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale and seemed to be cruising to their second victory in as many matches to start the league season. Instead, Sociedad stormed back with four unanswered goals.

Inigo Martinez started the comeback with a 35th-minute tap-in before Zuruzuta headed in the equaliser four minutes before half-time. Zuruzuta completed the turnaround with his second of the night, a first-time finish from a Xabi Prieto cross in the 65th minute, before substitute Carlos Vela added Sociedad's fourth with 15 minutes to play.

The win was Sociedad's first of the new campaign following last week's season-opening loss at Eibar. The manner of the victory—especially after crashing out of the UEFA Europa League midweek—will give Jagoba Arrasate's side confidence as they try to replicate or improve on last season's seventh-place finish.

Up next for La Real is a trip to Celta Vigo on Sept. 13.

For Madrid, on the other hand, it's an especially disappointing defeat after holding an early two-goal lead away from home. Los Blancos opened the season with a win at home to Cordoba last weekend, but Sunday's defeat could prompt manager Carlo Ancelotti to adjust his plans ahead of their showdown with rivals and defending champions Atletico Madrid on Sept. 13.

One point of consolation for Madrid could be the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, who did not play due to injury. Per Reuters (via Daily Mail), the 29-year-old superstar was not included in the squad as he continues to deal with a hamstring issue.

David Ramos/Getty Images

Madrid dominated the opening stages and raced to a two-goal lead within the first 11 minutes. The opening goal came in just the fifth minute, Ramos rising highest to place a brilliant header into the bottom corner from a Toni Kroos corner.

Ramos came close again five minutes later, hitting the crossbar with a curled free-kick. Then, in the 11th minute, Bale doubled Madrid's lead with an outstanding individual effort. After accepting a pass from Luka Modric, Bale nutmegged a defender before finishing in the bottom corner to make it 2-0.

Madrid appeared to be cruising to victory, but Sociedad drew level with two goals late in the first half.

David Ramos/Getty Images

Like Madrid's opener, Sociedad's first goal came from a corner, Prieto flicking a header on toward the back post. Unmarked, Martinez slammed home to make it 2-1 in the 35th minute.

Six minutes later, the hosts were back on even terms. Alberto de la Bella curled in a fine cross from deep on the left, and Zurutuza, making a late run, powered a pinpoint header past Iker Casillas for the equaliser.

Madrid were stunned, but Ancelotti's side had another chance just before the break as James Rodriguez picked out the ever-dangerous Ramos with a free-kick. Ramos once again rose highest to meet the ball, but this time the Madrid defender headed wide of the post.

Having clawed their way back into the game, Real Sociedad took the next step in the second half, steadily gaining in confidence before taking a lead of their own.

Imanol Agirretxe came close with the first chance of the second half, but the striker's header across goal bounced wide of the post. It mattered little, though, as Sociedad edged in front midway through the half.

David Ramos/Getty Images

In the 65th minute, Prieto and Sergio Canales combined on the right flank before Prieto crossed low into the middle. Making another late run into the goalmouth, Zurutuza finished high with his first touch to put Sociedad ahead 3-2.

The hosts were buoyant, but they were about to have even more reason to celebrate. In the 75th minute, Vela added the fourth goal, bringing down a corner in the box before steadying himself and smashing in his shot past Casillas. Madrid appealed for a handball on the play, but regardless, the visitors were once again guilty of switching off defensively at a costly time.

Madrid still had time for a couple late chances, James Rodriguez testing Sociedad goalkeeper Enaut Zubikarai with a late shot and Karim Benzema firing off the upright in stoppage time. That was as close as Madrid came, though, and at the final whistle, Ancelotti's side could only ponder what went wrong. 

 

Grades

Real Sociedad Player Ratings
Starting XI Half-Time Full-Time
Enaut Zubikarai 6.6 7.0
Zaldua 6.4 7.1
Gorka Elustondo 5.8 6.3
Inigo Martinez 6.8 7.1
Alberto de la Bella 6.8 7.3
Xabi Prieto 7.0 8.5
Esteban Granero 5.8 6.9
Markel Bergara 6.2 7.3
David Zurutuza 7.3 8.5
Gonzalo Castro 6.3 6.9
Imanol Agirretxe 6.5 6.9
Substitutes Half-Time Full-Time
Sergio Canales (for Castro, 60') N/A 6.2
Carlos Vela (for Agirretxe, 60') N/A 7.0
Mikel Gonzalez (for Prieto, 83') N/A 6.1

Ratings via WhoScored.com

Real Madrid Player Ratings
Starting XI Half-Time Full-Time
Iker Casillas 5.6 5.6
Dani Carvajal 6.2 6.0
Pepe 6.5 6.5
Sergio Ramos 7.7 8.3
Marcelo 5.5 5.3
Luka Modric 6.8 7.2
Toni Kroos 7.2 7.4
Isco 6.5 7.1
James Rodriguez 6.4 6.8
Karim Benzema 6.4 6.5
Gareth Bale 7.5 7.5
Substitutes Half-Time Full-Time
Sami Khedira (for Modric, 74') N/A 6.3
Alvaro Arbeloa (for Carvajal, 77') N/A 6.1

Ratings via WhoScored.com

 

Post-Match Reaction

Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas (via Inside Spanish Football):

First, we must congratulate Real Sociedad.  It’s unusual what happened, we were horrible, we didn’t play well.  We can’t allow things to happen the way they did in this game.  We need to do whatever we can to improve because wearing this crest is a great responsibility and this isn’t the example we want to show.

We must apply more pressure, be aware of the plays developing. Pay attention, but not just on the backline. We can all defend a corner.

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