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Real Sociedad 0-1 Real Madrid: Los Blancos move 14 points clear at the top of La Liga

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Real Madrid eased past Real Sociedad and moved 14 points clear of Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

A first half goal from Arda Guler on his first start for Los Blancos turned out to be the winner and moved his side to within touching distance of back to back league titles.

As for Real Sociedad they now sit in sixth place and ten points adrift of the final Champions League spot currently held by Atletico Madrid.

Carlo Ancelotti only retained two players in his starting lineup from the side who beat Barcelona in El Clasico last weekend. Arda Guler was handed his first La Liga start as Joselu and Brahim Diaz replaced Jude Bellingham, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo in the forward line.

Dani Ceballos started over Federico Valverde as Aurelien Tchouameni moved back into midfield with Toni Kroos on the bench.

In defence it was Fran Garcia, Nacho, Eder Militao and Dani Carvajal who replaced Eduardo Camavinga, Antonio Rudiger and Lucas Vazquez. Finally it was Andriy Lunin who was swapped out for Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal.

As for Imanol Alguacil, he made four changes to his Real Sociedad team that drew against Getafe on Sunday.

Take Kubo came in for Sheraldo Becker as Martin Zubimendi replaced Arsen Zakharyan in midfield. In the centre of defence, Igor Zubeldia replaced Jon Pacheco with the injured Hamari Traore making way for Alvaro Odriozola at right back.

It was raining heavily in the Basque region of northern Spain as Real took control of the ball inside the opening quarter of an hour. Their first chance came when a mazy run from Ander Barrenetxea led to a pass down the right side of the box for Kubo with the Japanese International shooting at the near post, but Kepa was equal to it and pushed it out for a corner.

After a quiet ten minutes, the next opportunity also fell to the home side when Mikel Oyarzabal nutmegged Militao on the half way line before playing through Benat Turrientes. The Spaniards shot from outside the box was struck sweetly but went just over the crossbar.

However, the reigning La Liga champions only needed one chance to break the deadlock as Guler got on the end of a Carvajal cross at the back post before slotting it past the Sociedad keeper.

The home side nearly got one back immediately as Tchouameni was dispossessed on the edge of the box with the ball eventually falling to Kubo who put it past Arrizabalaga at the near post. VAR then intervened as the officials adjudged Barrenetxea to have fouled the Frenchman before taking the ball off him.

 Takefusa Kubo celebrates after scoring a goal that was later disallowed following a VAR review. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

At the end of a lowkey first half it was Los Blancos in their all black away kit who were ahead in the game. Despite La Real’s heavier share of possession it was Real Madrid’s efficiency in attack that proved to be the difference between the teams.

Real Sociedad came out of the blocks quickly in the second half as Militao’s headed clearance fell to Turrientes who unleashed a near post shot that was swiftly put behind by Kepa.

It took much longer though for the next major chance to come the way of the home side as just ten minutes from full time, Oyarzabal’s shot towards goal was deflected just wide by Antonio Rudiger who had come off the Madrid bench.

Los Blancos had one final chance to put a second goal past La Real but Camavinga hit it straight at Alex Remiro who made a strong save down to his left side. The one goal turned out to be more than enough though as Real Madrid moved 14 points clear of Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

Despite Guler’s goal being the winner on the night it was the Spanish goalkeeper who was key in taking all three points back to the capital.

His three saves on the night prevented an XG of 0.75 and hence was enough to keep out La Real’s attacks.

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