Match Recap: La Liga – Real Sociedad v Real Madrid

4 Sep

AnoetaDo you know what I love? I love the start of the regular season. Do you know what I love more? Starting the season with a home win, which is exactly what Los Blancos gave us because they love us like we love them. Like The Ramos loves El Niño. Like Stevie loves Xabi (*sigh*). Like Lozil loves Zlatan.

Oh, right… That was LAST week against Cordoba. That was the match I wrote a recap for TWICE then forgot to send to Lozil. FAIL.

IkerThe bromance is alive and well…

Our first match officially without my precious ginger beard lined up something like this:

Real Sociedad: Zubikarai; Elustondo, Bergara, Iñigo, Granero, Agirretxe, Zurutuza, Chory, Zaldua, Prieto, De la Bella.

Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Pepe, Marcelo, Ramos, Kroos, Modric, Isco, Rodriguez, Bale, Benzema.

I have to admit, while it was difficult knowing that Xabi wasn’t even on the bench for us, it was nice to see our lovely Pirata in the starting lineup for Real Sociedad. What we didn’t get was any Jailbait action at the start.

And Ancelotti decided to start us off with Isco in the midfield instead of Sami or Illara. I’m not in the habit of criticizing a manager’s choices all the time, but I do wish I knew the reasons. I know Kroos is supposed to be our distributor but….

Start of a season has its surprises and its hiccups. It always has. I just wasn’t expecting these surprises and hiccups. I’m feeling sorry for myself over Xabi leaving. I know there’s more to it than what he and the club have said. There has to be. BUT we have to move on. I’m trying. I know Lozil is trying. So let’s give it a go, huh?

One more thing…. Since when does ORANGE go with pink? It hurts my eyes! I thought having Cris wear the pink would be bad but seeing Iker in this orange while the rest of the team is in pink is awful. Whyyyyyyy?!

Our boys started off pretty well. We enjoyed the majority of possession (I say that as un-Xavi like as possible) and even had Marcelo pushing forward like he likes to do.

In the fourth minute, it was Marcelo pushing forward that gave us our first real chance. He bolted forward, passed to Benz who touched it to Gareth, and Gareth had a shot. But the keeper just wasn’t having it at that moment.

The first corner kick came shortly after that but it was headed behind the goal for another corner. THIS one was ours though.

In true Ramos fashion, The Pony got up above everyone else and headed the ball home (Unfortunately I have Adam Sandler’s voice in my head as I type that. Happy Gilmore has ruined me forever).I love Ramos headers. I’m always in the mood.

But can we talk about this celebration? What was this? Is he a gopher? NO! Sergio, you are a PONY! P-O-N-Y! It is majestic and beautiful.Sergio1Sergio2We remained in control. Even when La Real pressed forward we cleared it before it made too much of a problem. But oh wait, that was only a few minutes in. We were in for a lot more.

In the ninth minute, for example, Marcelo was brought down. It was our beloved Pirata who brought him down and Sergio took the impending free kick. Was anyone was else surprised? Just me? Okay then. His kick hit the bar! Sociedad couldn’t get it clear and it landed at the feet of Lucky Luka but he hit it wide. So close!

Not two minutes later, we had our next goal though. Modric played the ball to Bale who played a neat little nutmeg on Elustondo then passed the ball neatly and sharply into the corner. It was, as far as I’m concerned, a pretty pretty goal. He made it look so damn easy. Like I could go out and do that. Why don’t Real Madrid pay me to play? Truth be told, they’d probably pay me $20 to get off the field. Or just arrest me…
We looked good. We looked like we were in the mood for goals and goals galore. La Real earned their first corner in the 13th minute but Granero delivered it poorly. His second chance was better, but cleared.

Then Pirata received the match’s first yellow card in the 18th minute for bringing Carvajal down quite hard. Directly after Modric went forward but his attempted low cross was cleared. The return from Sociedad saw Iker punch it clear.

In the 20th minute Benzema almost got to a high back pass but Zubikarai got to it first. The poor clearance saw Marcelo shoot to the left post and go just wide.

We were all sure that our beloved Blancos would score again. Real Sociedad were winning a few corners but weren’t doing anything with them. Which worked out really well for us. To start…

In the 25th minute, Sergio almost scored on a header again when a corner was played beautifully to him. It was coming! I swore it was coming!

Then Pirata shot fiercely and gave me a heart attack. Luckily the shot was blocked kind of brilliantly by The Pony. I won’t pretend I’d love to see him score, but not against us. I wouldn’t be mad at him. I just like to brag about clean sheets. It’s a thing.

In the 32nd minute Kroos almost notched his first La Liga goal. But his low shot was blocked by the keeper’s leg.

And then it came. Real Sociedad’s first goal came in the 35th minute from Inigo Martinez. The second corner earned by La Real in quick succession turned into a goal shot to the far post.

In the 42nd minute, Sociedad scored the equalizer. It was as if we’d fallen apart completely. It was an excellent cross, admittedly, and Zurutuza got away from Marcelo to get his head on it. Gaps, gaps everywhere. *Sigh*
We came close in added time when we won a free-kick in a good position to the right. James (who had been kind of invisible for the majority of the half) delivered beautifully bringing Zubizarai out. The keeper missed the punch and Ramos headed it barely wide.

The half ended with the match tied at two. And I felt the impending doom. It felt already like a loss. I was already in pessimistic mode. We started so well but the final 20 minutes were all Real Sociedad.

Second Half:
The boys’ game faces weren’t convincing before the start of the second half and I should have seen it coming, I swear.

In the 48th minute, after we began with signs of attack, Pirata started a nifty passing move. Xabi Prieto played the ball into Agirretxe whose header was deflected, earning Real Sociedad a corner. Defensive holes. Defensive holes everywhere.

We responded well, however. Isco nearly had a chance but Sociedad defended well. Then Benzema got into the box well but gave the ball away cheaply. I was beginning to rage. What about you?

At the other end, Pepe gave the ball away and those defensive issues reared their ugly head. Thankfully (for us) Carvajal drew a foul again. Then Modric, Carvajal, and Kroos linked up well in midfield but Modric’s cross was cleared. The Pony got to it and ran majestically (madly) at the defensive only to get nowhere.

Of course Sociedad picked it up and countered well. Agirretxe’s shot was cleared by Sergio and out for a corner. The corner was cleared. Heart attack still going for me…

Let’s just go ahead and skip a bit now.

In the 59th minute, Real Sociedad made their first substitutions. Carlos Vela came in for Agirretxe (Lozil, do you think boyfriend Fernando could help us learn to pronounce that?) and Jailbait! was in for Castro.

In the 65th minute we conceded the third goal. Zurutuza got in front of Pepe and forced a shot from Xabi Prieto. All of my Xabi feels still at the surface, I may have sworn a lot in front of a 3-year-old. I tried to keep most of it in Spanish, but a few Arabic curses came out. And the one or two Russian swears that I know.

It was like we fell asleep and Real Sociedad woke up. They kept pressing and we kept looking like crap. I hate to criticize my team so harshly in the beginning of the season but crikey!

In the 70th minute, Isco broke and Benzema had a chance but wasted it. He was blocked and Real Sociedad earned a goal kick. Two minutes later, James was brought down 25 yards out. Gareth looked to do his best CR7 impression with the free kick but powered the ball into the wall.

We finally saw a substitution from Madrid when Sami came in for Modric at minute 74. Unfortunately, Sami’s first touch of the ball gave away possession.

And Vela thumped the ball into the net off a corner in the 75th minute. This was simply not happening. I kept asking people to pinch me. I will say, however, that it looked a good call for a handball. And our boys thought so too.
Think about what you’ve done, Pepe. And tell everyone else to think about what they’ve done too.Toni, baby, you have no clue. Just lost. Talk to Luka sweetie, he was once like you.

In the 77th minute, Carlo sent Arbeloa in for Carvajal. At least we started to press following the substitution (which is not to say that had anything to do with the substitution, btw. I’ve been yelled at too many times for being harsh on Dani). But Isco gave away a needless freekick in the 81st minute when he brought down Vela inside La Real’s half.

In the 83rd minute, the home side made their final substitution bringing in Mikel Gonzalez for Xabi (I love your name so much I hate it) Prieto.

In the 85th minute we pressed again. Gareth found Sami who played the ball in to my fellow Spartan but Sociedad headed it clear easily. Then Marcelo broke down the left but his cross ended in a corner. The corner floated in nicely to find Sami’s gorgeous head, but he put it barely over the bar.

Sociedad had another chance when Arbeloa gave the ball away to Vela who just ran straight at us. Because we looked weary and defeated. He made it to the 6 yard box before we finally cleared it.

We almost had another goal back in the 88th minute when Ramos couldn’t get on the end of a free kick from James. And the pain set in. We continued to press but nothing came of it. I was defeated. We were defeated.

Our second match of the season and we lost 4-2 to Real Sociedad.

It’s not easy to go to Anoeta. Real Sociedad are a tough squad and Anoeta is a tough place to play. But I was shocked with how easily we seemed to let the first two goals get to us. We completely fell apart. La Real saw our weaknesses and exploited them very well. They had a lot of confidence. They completely controlled the second half. And if La Real can do it that easily, then I shudder to think what teams like Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, and Athletic Bilbao can do.

I’m ready to move on. Get the international break over with and let’s come back with vengeance, boys!

Hala Madrid!


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