La Liga: Real Madrid begin title-defence with goalless draw against Real Sociedad

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With a squad principally unchanged from final season, Real Madrid regarded out of rhythm and could not get greater than some extent in a lackluster match on the Reale Arena within the Basque Country.

It wasn’t the perfect of begins for defending champion Real Madrid, which wanted a great efficiency by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to salvage a 0-0 draw at Real Sociedad within the Spanish league on Sunday.

With a squad principally unchanged from final season, Madrid regarded out of rhythm and could not get greater than some extent in a lackluster match on the Reale Arena within the Basque Country.

Zinedine Zidane’s workforce struggled in assault and noticed Sociedad create a few of the most harmful probabilities, together with one by ahead Alexander Isak simply earlier than halftime that pressured Courtois to make an outstanding save with his legs as he charged out from the purpose.

“We were well organized,” Courtois mentioned. “We didn’t allow them many opportunities other than the save I made and another shot that went wide. The problem is that we couldn’t score, but that will come with time.”

Madrid had gained 10 of its final 11 league matches final season to clinch its first title in three years. It is making an attempt to elevate back-to-back league trophies for the primary time since 2007-08.

Madrid solely opened this weekend as a result of its first-round match against Getafe was postponed because it performed later into final season after reaching the spherical of 16 of the Champions League. Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, which made it to the Champions League quarterfinals, had their first two video games postponed and gained’t begin till subsequent weekend within the third spherical. It’s the identical for Sevilla, which gained the Europa League.

“We can’t forget that Real Sociedad has been practicing longer than us,” Courtois mentioned. “We can be happy with how we played even though we couldn’t score.”

Madrid had just one preparation match earlier than its opener, against Getafe final week. Sociedad, which completed in sixth place final season, had began its league marketing campaign with a 1-1 draw at Valladolid.

“It feels like we could have gotten more points, but a draw against a team like Real Madrid is always important,” Sociedad’s Mikel Oyarzabal mentioned.

Madrid began its title protection with an identical squad that gained the league title for the thirty fourth time, with the one new starter being playmaker Martin Odegaard, who had been on mortgage with Sociedad till final season. He was a shock starter rather than defensive midfielder Casemiro, an everyday for Zidane alongside with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric within the midfield.

“It was a really particular match for me, against a few of my mates,” the 21-year-old Odegaard said.

Young Brazilians Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo flanked Karim Benzema in the attack, with Eden Hazard, who is not fully fit yet, sitting out.

Zidane brought Casemiro on in the second half, and he also used two youth squad players off the bench — Sergio Arribas and Marvin.

Gareth Bale and James Rodríguez left for the Premier League but they hadn’t been playing much under Zidane.

Madrid had its trip to the Basque Country city of San Sebastián delayed after a problem with an airplane.


Manuel Pellegrini continues to impress in his coaching return to the Spanish league, leading Real Betis 2-0 over Valladolid for a second straight victory to start the season. Betis had opened with a late win over Alavés in the Chilean coach’s official debut with Betis last weekend.

Pellegrini, a former Real Madrid and Manchester City manager, returned to the Spanish league after stints in China and with West Ham in England.

Nabil Fekir opened the scoring by converting a penalty kick in the 10th minute and William Carvalho sealed the victory in the 18th.


Granada also won its second in a row, beating winless Alavés 2-1 at home with goals by Roberto Soldado in the seventh minute and Darwin Machís in the 79th.

The club from southern Spain had defeated Athletic Bilbao in its opener, and was coming off a 4-0 win over Albania’s Teuta in Europa League qualifying.


In a match between promoted clubs, Cádiz won 2-0 at Huesca with goals by Álvaro Negredo in the 11th and Jorge Pombo in the 83rd.

Second-division champion Huesca had opened with a surprise draw at Villarreal, while Cádiz was coming off a home loss to Osasuna.

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