Real Sociedad battled from two goals down to record a memorable and emphatic 4-2 win against Real Madrid.
Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale fired Los Blancos into an early lead, but a David Zurutuza double and strikes from Inigo Martinez and Carlos Vela gave Sociedad a seemingly unlikely victory.
Two goals in 10 minutes
Madrid were without Cristiano Ronaldo, who was rested following a knee injury. However Carlo Ancelotti’s side looked better without him in the opening exchanges, as they sped into a two goal lead after ten minutes.
Sergio Ramos’ aerial prowess has been well documented, and after seven goals last season, the defender opened his account five minutes into the affair. He rose highest to meet Toni Kroos’ corner and give Madrid and early lead.
Ramos nearly doubled his tally four minutes later. This time, with his feet, he hit a beautiful dipping free-kick that smacked Zubikarai’s crossbar.
His miss didn’t matter however, as moments later Real doubled their lead thanks to Gareth Bale. The Welshman took the ball from former Spurs teammate Modric, nut-megged Elustondo, and unleashed a powerful finish that beat Zubikarai at his near post.
The early goal had clearly rattled Real Sociedad, who had exhibited little control of the game thus far. The team are were low on confidence after losing twice in the same week to Eibar and Kuban Krasnodar, and it was looking like three without a win for Jogoba Arrasate’s side.
The European champions looked to inflict further misery on the hosts, and Marcelo had two efforts on goal with the latter requiring the palms of Zubikarai, as Real ran rampant during the first 30 minutes.
But as Kroos squandered another easy opportunity to put the game beyond the opposition, it was they who were punished. Carlos Vela whipped in a corner, which was flicked on at the near post and fell to the feet of Inigo Martinez, who tapped home from a few yards.
Madrid were beginning to regret their misses, and as Sociedad began to grow in confidence, they snatched another before half-time.
Full-back De La Bella found bags of space on the left hand side and delivered a powerful whipped cross to the penalty spot, which found Zurutuza who ran from deep and scored with a bullet header.
Buoyed by their late first-half exploits Sociedad began to produce the football expected of them as the spectacle became a two-sided affair.
Sociedad almost completed an unlikely comeback as Xabi Prieto put in a great ball to the head of Agirretxe, but the forward’s header was blocked by Casillas, who was quick to rush from his goal.
A draw seemed a pipe dream for the home side after 10 minutes, but it was clear Arrasate was going for the win. On came the attacking talents of former Los Blancos midfielder Canales and last season’s top scorer Vela.
The attacking changes appeared to have a positive effect, as minutes later they were in front. Substitute Canales cleverly flicked the ball into the path of Prieto, who put in a powerful low cross to the feet of Zurutuza who bagged his second of the match and a crucial third for Real Sociedad.
Ten minutes later, the hosts, who appeared to be out to the game early on, put the match beyond Madrid. Again defensive deficiencies were the source of their downfall, again, they failed to clear a corner and again, they were punished. This time by Carlos Vela, who had time to bring the ball down in the area and smash his first La Liga goal of the season high into Iker Casillas’ goal.
Madrid looked dumbfounded; architects of their own downfall, with sloppy defensive mistakes costing them dearly. But little can be taken away from Real Sociedad, who showed the belief, determination and quality few sides can muster against Real Madrid.
For all of Real’s attacking talents, they lacked the calming influence and defensive qualities of Xabi Alonso and the cutting edge of one Cristiano Ronaldo.
Goals: Sergio Ramos (RMA), Bale (RMA), Inigo Martinez (RSO), Zurutuza x2 (RSO), Vela (RSO)
Bookings Granero (RSO), Carvajal (RMA), Isco (RMA)
Real Sociedad: Zubikarai, De La Bella, Ínigo Martinez, Joseba Zaldúa, Xabi Prieto (Mikel González), Zurutuza, Bergara, Granero, Castro (Canales), Elustondo, Agirretxe (Vela)
Real Madrid: Casillas, Dani Carvajal (Arbeloa), Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Rodriguez, Modric (Khedira), Isco, Bale, Kroos, Benzema