Real Madrid fail to move further up the La Liga table with this draw

La Liga: Vinicius Junior Bails Out Real Madrid to Salvage a Point

Real Madrid 1-1 Real Sociedad

Real Madrid missed out on a golden opportunity to move further up in the La Liga table as they were held to a 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad last Monday evening.

The hosts fell behind to a goal from Portu early in the second half. But Vinicius Junior came off the bench and scored the equaliser late to snatch a point.

The result leaves Los Blancos five points adrift of city rivals and league leaders Atletico Madrid, who still have the higher La Liga 2021 odds of winning the championship.

Furthermore, the title race continues to heat up as Barcelona crept up to second place as they won against Sevilla last Saturday night.

Despite having so many chances at goal, Real Madrid fans were left frustrated since they couldn’t get the job done.

Zinedine Zidane was criticised due to the tactical changes he implemented after half-time. And one can argue that the said changes helped La Real in putting a dent to their title hopes.

Overall, it was fun to watch these two clubs go at it hard given their share of La Liga 2021 highlights. And here at SBOTOP, let’s highlight them one by one.

 

Highlights of the game

In my opinion, this game was Real Madrid’s to lose since things have been working towards their favour in the last few weeks.

Along with them maintaining their superb form despite their lineup problems, their injury crisis has eased down a bit with the returns of Fede Valverde, Rodrygo, and Marcelo.

At the start of the game, Zinedine Zidane went to his typical 4-3-3 formation which has set the tone for Los Blancos.

Real Madrid’s press broke down Real Sociedad. And because of that, they naturally had more shots at goal.

Their first real chance came at the 22nd minute when Lucas Vasquez flipped the ball inside the penalty area. However, Mariano’s header bounced off the crossbar and Marco Asensio’s follow-up went far too wide.

Los Blancos had another chance one minute later when a corner kick found a flying Raphael Varane, but the centre-back’s header was tapped away by Alex Remiro.

Casemiro would try his luck in the 26th minute when he fired a long-range shot from 30 yards, but his attempt went far too left.

After an impressive nutmeg against a Real Sociedad defender, Luka Modric rifled a shot from the right flank at the 43rd minute, but Alex Remiro was quick enough for a routine save.

Come the second half, this time it was La Real who had their share of opportunities.

One of them came during the 48th minute when Nacho Monreal tried a bicycle kick after a corner kick, but his shot went over the post.

But Monreal would redeem himself by serving up the assist for the first goal of the evening when he teed up Portu for a header during the 55th minute.

Real Sociedad shocked La Liga fans with their fiery performance against Real Madrid

Portu celebrates after scoring Real Sociedad’s first goal of the match

Real Madrid tried to draw level in the 63rd minute when Lucas Vasquez volleyed the ball for a Casemiro header, but the shot missed the back of the net by a few inches.

Desperate for an equaliser, Real Madrid finally got one after a gorgeous sequence in the 89th minute.

Fede Valverde’s cheeky backheel pass gave Lucas Vasquez an opportunity to cross the ball to a cutting Vinicius Junior for the much-needed equaliser.

 

Key statistics

By coming off the bench last night, Vinicius Junior made his 100th appearance wearing a Real Madrid uniform. His 88th-minute equaliser was only his fourth goal of the season.

Los Blancos had so many chances at goal in this game as they had 20 total shots compared to La Real’s six. However, only three of them were on target.

Casemiro was basically everywhere for Real Madrid despite failing to score last night. The veteran midfielder had more shots than anyone in the game with six attempts.

Portu continues his fine form for Real Sociedad as he has now been directly involved in 10 La Liga goals for his club this term (seven goals, three assists), already equalling his tally from last season.

 

What’s next?

Despite missing out on this opportunity to cut the gap, Real Madrid will have another one when they visit Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano for their much-awaited derby this weekend.

With Real Sociedad eliminated in the Europa League by Manchester United, they can now fully focus on domestic matters.

Imanol Alguacil’s boys will have Levante and Granada on their menu next before facing Barcelona on March 22.

 

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