Match Recap: Real Madrid Vs. Real Sociedad

10 Feb

Real Madrid flagsWas anyone else super nervous about this match? We lost to La Real early in the season and I was terrified of similar results. You know how I get… Anything but a win is unacceptable!

PLUS, David Moyes looks like a new man in his new position as manager. That’s not to say things couldn’t go down hill for him but the good news is that he doesn’t have quite the egos he had at Manchester United.

Cristiano was serving the first match of his two match ban and he was watching from the palco, as we’d expect him to.

It was also the return of El Pirata and JailBait!

Lineups:

Real Madrid: Iker Casillas; Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Toni Kroos, Isco, Illarra; Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, James Rodriguez

Real Sociedad: Geronimo Rulli; Aritz Elustondo, Mikel Gonzalez, Iñigo Martinez, Yuri Burchiche; Ruben Pardo, Gorka Elustondo; Xabi Prieto, Esteban Granero, Sergio Canales; Carlos Vela

I loved the look on Isco’s face. It’s like he doesn’t believe that rain comes from the sky. “What? Noooooo.”

The action started right away, much to my horror. For the third time in almost as many games, we conceded a goal in the first minute of play. Real Sociedad earned a corner and Elustondo headed the corner into the net past Iker.

The good news was that we got that goal back shortly. James was on hand to head in a gorgeous Marcelo cross. His crosses are seriously beautiful. I’m convinced he is highly underrated in terms of his build up play.

 

The play was very open following the two goals. Real Sociedad were giving us some problems but we were returning the favor. It was nothing if not lively.

In the 14th minute, Carlos Vela (who I adore) went down and stayed there. He was moved to the side of the pitch to receive treatment but ended up needing a sub in the 17th minute. He was replaced by Imanol Agirretxe.

Our next real chance came in the 20th minute but Rulli made a very good save on Benzema’s shot. Sometimes the opposing keepers are so frustrating against us, no?

Then Bale was taken down inside the box but the referee made no penalty call. There were a lot of bodies in his way, I suppose.

The first yellow card of the match came in the 31st minute when our young Basque, Illara, made a late challenge on Pardo.

Our second goal came in the 37th minute. Sergio was in the right place for the rebound when Rulli saved (quite excellently) Benzema’s shot. His shot was absolutely fired into the net. And we had the lead.

We almost had ourselves another goal when Benzema slotted the ball to Gareth, who shot wide of an almost open net. Oh Gareth!

After a freekick that Bale hit high, and two minutes of added time, the first half came to a close.

Second Half:

Our resident Basque, almost ginger beard is threatening to steal my heart. I told Lozil the other day that other Basque man we used to employ is dead to me. But damn it! He’s so not… And Illara just has certain mannerisms that are so ginger beard-ish.

*ahem*

We started the second half well, with a nice drive down the right and cross from Carvajal that was intended for Benzema and then a nice, albeit high, shot from Isco not long after.

I got my Benz goal in the 52nd minute! Gareth, bless him, drove into the box and simply squared it to Karim who slotted it easily into the net.

I love Benzema’s smile. It’s so child-like. He’s a goof and makes me shake my head more than not, but I do love him so.

The first sub of the match came in the 63rd minute. Sociedad brought in Bergara to replace Aritz Elustondo.

In the 69th minute, Xabi Prieto met a corner but the ball moved high of the crossbar and we were saved from a second Real Sociedad goal.

In the 71st minute Marcelo earned the second yellow card of the match for a challenge on Agirretxe.

Ancelotti, true to Wenger time, made our first substitution in the 75th minute. James came out to be replaced by Jey M Jese.

And in the 77th minute I got my second Benz goal. THAT goal. The beautiful, beautiful strike.

I’m fangirling so hard over that goal. I miss the days when players like Kaka and Inzaghi hit those on the regular. My Rossoneri is showing, isn’t it?

We had ourselves a double substitution in the 81st minute. Sami replaced Toni and Chicharito replaced our brace man.

Bale had a wonderful chance in the 83rd minute but Rulli was there again to make a fabulous save. Poor Gareth is having such a hard time of scoring goals lately. The plight of goalscoring midfielders. Poor thing.

Yuri picked up a yellow card in the 88th minute for a late challenge on Sami, but that was it for the match. We came away with a comfortable win after a little bit of a heart attack in the first minute.

Match Photos:

Post-Match Comments:

Ancelotti La Real post matchAncelotti:

“We played very well in the second half”, added the coach.

Carlo Ancelotti analysed his side’s display against Real Sociedad in his post-match press conference: “In the first half, as has happened in other games, we didn’t start well and we conceded a goal. The same happened at Córdoba and against Atlético in the Copa. We have to improve that. Then we defended well and we pressed up front. We played very well in the second half. We sorted it out and the match improved.”

“Benzema put in a fantastic performance. The goal he scored was top quality. He has a fantastic strike, but we also have to appreciate the way he helps the team’s play. He isn’t just a striker who plays in the box, he is very good in every area and has a lot of quality. We had a lot of chances and shots on goal.”

Bale
“He had a good game. He missed two chances but he provided a terrific assist for the third goal, which settled the match. For me it isn’t so important that he scores, but rather that he works with the team and his team-mates, and today he did that very well.”

Illarra
“He made a so-so start in the first 30 minutes, as did the whole team. Then he played a good second half.”

Lucas Silva
“He wasn’t involved because he has only been here for a week and he needed to adapt and train to improve his fitness, which isn’t at the same level as the others. I think he’ll be available very soon.”

“He’s a player with defensive characteristics, he has a good shot and passing ability. He is used to playing as one of two holding midfielders. He can play in Kroos’s position and also where Illarramendi played today.”

System
“James had to hold a position. The ‘tellings-off’ I gave were in the defensive side of things. I gave them to him, the midfielders and those at the back. Our pressing wasn’t so good, our defensive positioning wasn’t good in the first half. We try to defend with two banks of four and open up more when we attack.”

Marcelo
“He’s growing, just like the team. Up to December he had a fantastic period, like the rest. He has had a period out and now he’s improving very quickly. This year is different to the last one, when he had more problems. Now he has more confidence and I have a lot of confidence in him.”

Rotating against Sevilla?
“Maybe, we have to assess the exertion we’ve put in in this game. We know that we have a very important game to try to increase our lead. I might change something because we need a fresh team.”

Ramos La Real post matchRamos:

Sergio Ramos appeared before the press following the game against Real Sociedad: “Despite conceding an early goal, the positive thing is that the team knew how to respond well, quickly and turn the scoreboard around. We once again saw a good performance from the team, dominating and playing effectively up the field”. 

“We have to use this to improve and go on a good run of results. Sometimes you make mistakes in football and we have to use that to improve and grow as a team”. 

Cristiano Ronaldo
“Cristiano is a fundamental part of the team, but it is good to know that there are players who makes the most of the minutes that the coach gives them. The key to success is having a good group with everyone working towards the same goals”.

Contract extension
“We have not talked to the club about any extension. I have two years left and I am happier than ever because I cannot imagine myself in any other shirt apart from this one”.

Marcelo:

“It was a very difficult game despite the result”
“They scored with the first move of the game. We scored soon after and that made the comeback easier. We did not start as we would have liked to but then we had the ball and we played well. It was crucial to win today. It was a very difficult game despite the result and now we have another extremely tough game against Sevilla”.

“I like to see the team doing well and winning. If I can help out with assists or goals then even better, but the important thing is that the team manages to win. The move between James and Bale is something that happens on the pitch. A forward has to score and perhaps Bale saw scoring as the best option”.

Benzema’s goal
“I was standing behind and it was a great goal. He is a top-class player and eveybody knows it, I am really delighted with his fantastic goal”.

Carvajal:

“We have won the first encounter of the week”
“This is a very important week for us with three matches, two of them at home. Today was the first round and we won. Although we started with a slight lack of concentration, we were then able to make a comeback. Sometimes you have bad days, we are human, but today we got our form back”.

Benzema’s second goal
“I did not see it well from where I was standing, but I realized it was an amazing goal by the way people reacted to it”.

Bale
“He is an ambitious player who contributes a lot. Last weekend he practically gave us the three points and today he provided an assist. He is really important for us. We all want to score and do well and of course James understands that”.

Cristiano Ronaldo
“He is the best player in the world and he is missed but there are great players in the squad who play well”.

Bonus Pirata:

As always… ¡Hala Madrid!

-mygypsyspirit

(images and gifs from GF Sports, the-vip-football-collection, football-hqs, and realmadrid.com)

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