Eder Militao, Luka Jovic and Vinicius Junior stole the show as Real Madrid beat Real Sociedad 2-0 at the Reale Arena in La Liga on Saturday night.
Real Madrid were off to a scratchy start as Real Sociedad pushed and prodded for the opening goal early on, with Alexander Isak having a goal-bound header cleared by Eder Militao while Adnan Januzaj fired an effort over the bar. At the other end, Los Blancos were dealt a blow with Karim Benzema being taken off injured, although Vinicius Junior stepped up and took the game to the hosts, having a shot saved.
Real Madrid started to grow into the game with Rodrygo and Luka Modric forcing Alex Remiro into saves while Sociedad came close again near half-time, but Alexander Sorloth, Isak and Mikel Oyarzabal failed to make the most of a goalmouth scramble. T Merengues ramped up the pressure after the break, with substitute Luka Jovic creating a chance for Rodrygo, who was denied right after the restart.
Two minutes later, Carlo Ancelotti’s men took the lead with more good work from Jovic, who did well to hold off Sociedad defenders and play the ball into Vinicius, who found the back of the net. Ten minutes later, Real Madrid were up 2-0, with Jovic heading home from close range to pretty much kill the game off.
Real Sociedad hardly threatened after the second goal while the visitors were denied a third late on, with Remiro stopping Vinicius’ effort. Real Madrid saw the game off comfortably, bagging a 2-0 victory that extends their lead at the top of the La Liga standings to eight points. Here are our player ratings for Ancelotti’s men after a crucial win in San Sebastian.
Real Madrid Player Ratings
Thibaut Courtois: 6/10
The Belgian did not have a single save to make on the night as Real Sociedad did not muster up any efforts on target. He was, however, alert to make some crucial claims from crosses and long passes. Still, it was a much comfortable outing for Courtois than the ones he had over the past week against Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao.
Dani Carvajal: 7/10
Back into the starting XI, the Real Madrid right-back produced an extremely solid performance that nullified the threat of Mikel Oyarzabal to a large extent. Carvajal kept things tight on his side and came out on top in the duels he contested, while his passing was sharp too. However, his focus on defensive work meant that he could not provide an attacking outlet.
Eder Militao: 9/10
Absolutely colossal from start to finish. The Brazilian was at hand to deny Real Sociedad a sniff at goal at every step of the way, winning aerial duels with utter dominance and making crucial tackles and interceptions throughout. Militao made a massive ten clearances on the night, along with five tackles, two blocks and interceptions each.
Eder Militao vs Sociedad:
• 10 clearances.
• 5 tackles.
• 2 blocks.
• 2 interceptions.
• 9/11 duels won.
• 1 big chance created.
— TC (@totalcristiano) December 4, 2021
His passing was also on the radar throughout, with the highlight of the night being the chance he created for Vinicius late on with a stunning through-ball. He has come into his own this season, looking every bit like the defender that Real Madrid shelled out €50 million for.
David Alaba: 7.5/10
The summer signing was solid and sound alongside the dominant Militao. Alaba kept things organised at the back and won his fair share of duels to keep Isak and Sorloth at bay. At the same time, he was not afraid to drive up the pitch and help his team pile on the pressure, especially in the second half.
Ferland Mendy: 7/10
Another typically assured display from the left-back, who ensured that the likes of Januzaj and Portu did not have much joy on his side. Mendy also made a few decent runs going forward, although they did not always amount to much. Still, a steady performance to help keep a clean sheet from the Frenchman.
Luka Modric: 7.5/10
Luka Modrić vs Real Sociedad, the numbers🧮
In 90+ minutes:
92.4% pass accuracy
4/5 accurate long passes
1 key pass
1 successful dribble
4/5 ground duels won
1/1 aerial duels won
1 shot on target
Still the Maestro✨ pic.twitter.com/eE5tANeuNF
— Modrić Xtra🇭🇷 (@ModricXtra) December 4, 2021
Starting yet another game, the 36-year-old Luka Modric put in another all-action display in the middle of the park, showing no signs of slowing down at all. The veteran midfielder drove forward when on the ball, played some classy passes and while also helping out on the defensive side of things—such an asset.
The Brazilian had to be careful on the night as a booking would have meant he would get suspended for the crucial tie against Atletico Madrid next week. While there were a few nervy moments, he kept his discipline for the most part. Solid as usual in the middle of the park, although Casemiro was a bit sloppy in possession at times. He was withdrawn after the hour mark to avoid any chance of a booking.
Toni Kroos: 7/10
Like Modric, Kroos, too, had a good all-round game against Real Sociedad, during which he kept things ticking along nicely with his precise passing while he was not shy of putting the hard yards in off the ball. The only blemish would be that some of his set-piece deliveries weren’t always up to the mark.
Reinstated into the lineup at the expense of Marco Asensio, the Brazilian had a rather quiet night. While he did have a couple of shots saved, he generally lacked the cutting edge to carve out openings. However, he did offer defensive support to Carvajal on his flank.
Karim Benzema: N/A
The Real Madrid superstar lasted less than twenty minutes on the night as he had to be withdrawn with an injury. Ancelotti & co. will be hoping that it is nothing serious.
Vinicius Junior: 9/10
Vinícius through the 2018-2021 seasons.
Vinícius through the 2021-2022 season:
Our golden boy has arrived. pic.twitter.com/uKS3vu8yMp
— RMZZ (@RMBlancoZz) December 5, 2021
The 21-year-old has really stepped up his game this season. Vinicius looked almost unplayable, like he has on so many occasions this term, as Real Sociedad struggled to cope with his raw pace, movement and guile, and resorted to fouling him. He forced Remiro into a save in the first half, linked up well with Rodrygo and Jovic, and then opened the scoring with a composed finish after the break.
Vinicius could have had another late in the contest but was denied by the hosts’ goalkeeper. He also ran his socks off to help the team on the defensive side of things. He finished with four shots on target, one key pass and five dribbles completed.
Luka Jovic: 9/10
The Serbian got his chance early in the game due to Benzema’s injury, and he made the most of it. Jovic looked sharp in his movement, drifting wide to create space for others or making runs off the shoulders of the defenders. He was intelligent in his link-up play as he created a chance for Rodrygo before assisting Vinicius for the opener. He then got his name on the scoresheet with a diving header from close range.
Jovic finished with a joint game-high of three key passes. This should serve as a huge confidence-booster for the striker who has struggled endlessly during his time in Madrid.
Luka Jovic played 73 La Liga minutes all season before today.
He assisted Real Madrid’s first goal and scored their second after coming off the bench for an injured Karim Benzema 🔑 pic.twitter.com/89a4k91p9N
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 4, 2021
Eduardo Camavinga: 7/10
The summer signing came on for Casemiro in the 64th minute and put in a solid shift. Camavinga made a crunching tackle late on to deny Sociedad a goal.
Marco Asensio: N/A
On for Rodrygo in the 81st minute.
Federico Valverde: N/A
Late sub for Toni Kroos.