Vinicius Junior was the saviour for Real Madrid as they came from a goal down to salvage a 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad at home in La Liga.
Real Sociedad started the game on a bright note but Real Madrid slowly found their rhythm and started to cause problems to the visitors. The reigning champions came ever so close to scoring midway through the first half as Mariano Diaz’s header bounced off the crossbar while both Toni Kroos and Luka Modric drew saves from Alex Remiro as the first period ended goalless.
The second half saw Real Sociedad once again make a bright start and this time it paid off as Portu headed home Nacho Monreal’s cross to make it 1-0 in the 55th minute. As the game progressed, La Real sat deeper and deeper to protect their narrow lead, while Real Madrid struggled to find an opening in their bid for a leveller.
And just when it seemed like Imanol Alguacil’s men were set to grab all three points substitute Vinicius Junior equalised for Real Madrid, diverting a Lucas Vazquez cross in the 89th minute. There was no time for a late winner for either team, though, as they ended up sharing the spoils at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.
The result means Real Madrid remain third in the table, level on points with Barcelona in second place and five behind leaders Atletico Madrid ahead of the derby at the weekend. Here’s how we rated the performances of Zinedine Zidane’s men on a disappointing night.
Thibaut Courtois: 6/10
Did not have a whole lot to on the night but had no chance of stopping Portu’s header as it struck the crossbar before bouncing over the goal-line.
Lucas Vazquez: 8/10
Lucas Vázquez created more chances than any other player against Real Sociedad (5).
He also set up Vinícius Júnior for the equaliser. 🅰️ pic.twitter.com/ucMvTZ0uJz
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 1, 2021
Saw plenty of the ball and was Real Madrid’s primary attacking outlet from right-back for large parts of the game. Delivered some teasing crosses, one of which Diaz headed against the bar before setting Vinicius up for the equaliser. Ended the game with five key passes – more than any other player on the night. Also made three tackles and did what was needed defensively. A solid all-round display.
Raphael Varane: 6.5/10
Had a few issues with the pace of Alexander Isak early on when Sociedad tried to pick the Swede with long balls. Grew into the game with time, though, and ensured Isak did not have any impact on the proceedings. Had a headed effort graze the woodwork in the first half.
Strong in the tackle, alert to any potential threat posed by the visitors while not being afraid to carry the ball out from the back either with one such forward run almost leading to a chance. Showed some exquisite footwork in the final third before putting in a cross. Also, played a role in keeping the in-form Isak quiet and covered well for Mendy.
Nacho is incredible, how lucky we are to have him 😍🎩🥰
— 𝒑𝒂𝒖𝒍𝒂✨ (@_pauliiita) March 1, 2021
Ferland Mendy: 6/10
Made a positive start and showed good intent going forward, making two key passes. However, the Frenchman left spaces in behind which the visitors were able to exploit as Portu got the better of him before heading in the opening goal.
Luka Modric: 6/10
Not as impactful as he can be as the 35-year-old was not able to create any major openings on the night against Sociedad. Did have a shot blocked by Robin Le Normand in the first half before having an effort saved by Alex Remiro close to half-time.
Had quite a few chances to score, as he managed six shots on the night – more than any player. However, none of them were dangerous enough to majorly worry the Real Sociedad goalkeeper. Should have done better, especially with his two headers in the second half. Could have conceded a penalty in the first half. Not quite at his best.
Gil Manzano + Casemiro = no penalty.
Madrid, in most matches, play with 12. pic.twitter.com/hENfsgtqkF
— total Barça (@totalBarca) March 1, 2021
Toni Kroos: 7/10
As usual, took up some good positions in the attacking half and tried to make things happen but not everything worked for Kroos. Did complete a couple of key passes while also having a shot saved by Remiro in the first period.
Marco Asensio: 5/10
Another disappointing outing for the Spanish international, who barely looked threatening in the final third of the pitch. Apart from a few neat touches and moments of interplay, hardly showed any quality before making way for Rodrygo at the hour mark.
Mariano Diaz: 5/10
Came the closest to scoring for Real Madrid in the first period as he rose high to meet with Vazquez’s cross but his effort hit the woodwork. Not much of note apart from that, though.
Isco created four chances in the first half.
Three more than the entire Real Sociedad side combined and twice as many as any other player on the pitch. pic.twitter.com/6RBV2AFeQA
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 1, 2021
Back-to-back starts for the Spaniard after he impressed in the Champions League clash against Atalanta. Showed some sparks in the final third of the pitch, making four key passes. But, ultimately, he was not able to produce that one moment of quality to break open the visitors. Still, another positive performance. Replaced by Vinicius at the hour mark.
Vinicius Junior: 7/10
On for Isco at the hour mark to make his 100th appearance for Real Madrid. Turned it into a memorable occasion, scoring the all-important equaliser with a good finish in the dying minutes.
VINICIUS GOAL pic.twitter.com/hn4YvzSS07
— Dr. T❄️🇨🇦 (@DoctorT_RM) March 1, 2021
Rodrygo Goes: 6/10
Made his return from injury replacing Asensio in the 61st minute. A good run led to a shot that drifted wide.
Hugo Duro: 5/10
Came on to replace Diaz in the 61st minute. Could not connect with Vazquez’s cross which worked in his team’s favour though, as Vinicius did manage to connect and score the leveller.
Federico Valverde: N/A
Replaced Modric for the final fifteen minutes. Was involved in the move leading to the equaliser.