Real Sociedad showed incredible character during their 4-2 victory over Real Madrid this weekend, with the performance being just the response that was needed after the defeat to Eibar last week.
In truth they were very fortunate in terms of the chances wasted by Madrid. Carlo Ancelotti’s side unlocked them far too easily for the two goals inside 11 minutes and at 2-0 it was assumed the floodgates were going to open.
Sergio Ramos’ free-kick could have flew in any other day and it was very good goalkeeping that denied Toni Kroos, who could have put the game to bed with number three.
And although it was very much against the run of play, Inigo Martinez’s goal turned out to be a game-changer. They finished the half strongly with the equaliser and will have taken a lot of confidence with them into the half-time break.
From there, they absolutely battered their illustrious opponents in the second half. Los Blancos were made to look very ordinary and Sociedad actually won quite comfortably in the end.
Looking at their squad, I feel that being knocked out of the Europa League will benefit them as they will not have that unwelcome distraction in the quest for a push up the table. Realistically they should be looking at a return to the Champions League, or securing European football at the very least.
As for Real, well they were given a huge reality check. They were absolutely cruising at 2-0 and should have been out of sight with Ramos taking home the match ball.
But two losses of concentration cost them at the end of the first half, and they simply collapsed in the second.
The players looked absolutely shell-shocked. This will have frightened the life out of them. James Rodriguez couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He came to Madrid to be a winner and pick up from where he left off with Colombia at the FIFA World Cup.
Real cannot afford anything of this kind against defending champions Atletico in the Madrid derby on the 13th – it is as simple as that because they will grind them down and punish them.
Yes, there’s no doubt about it – Ancelotti and the side won’t be too worried about this result, with it being only the second game of the season. But given the standard that was set last season, with first place regularly changing hands after a single defeat, they need to see out games like that in the future with no excuses if they’re to keep up with Atletico and Barca.