Sports

Real Madrid start title defense with draw at Real Sociedad

By: AP |

September 21, 2020 10:22:09 am





Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema in motion (Source: Reuters)

It wasn’t the perfect of begins for defending champion Real Madrid, which wanted 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 appeared out of rhythm and couldn’t get greater than some extent in a lackluster match at the Reale Arena within the Basque Country.



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

“We were well organized,” Courtois stated. “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 received 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 towards Getafe was postponed because it performed later into final season after reaching the spherical of 16 of the Champions League. Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, which made it to the Champions League quarterfinals, had their first two video games postponed and received’t start till subsequent weekend within the third spherical. It’s the identical for Sevilla, which received the Europa League.

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

Madrid had just one preparation match earlier than its opener, towards 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 stated.

Madrid began its title defense with an identical squad that received 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 instead of defensive midfielder Casemiro, an everyday for Zidane alongside with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric within the midfield.

“It was a very special match for me, against some of my friends,” the 21-year-old Odegaard stated.

Young Brazilians Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo flanked Karim Benzema within the assault, with Eden Hazard, who will not be totally match but, sitting out.

Zidane introduced Casemiro on within the second half, and he additionally used two youth squad gamers off the bench _ Sergio Arribas and Marvin.

Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez left for the Premier League however they hadn’t been enjoying a lot underneath Zidane.

Madrid had its journey to the Basque Country metropolis of San Sebastian delayed after an issue with an airplane.

PELLEGRINI WINS AGAIN

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

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

Nabil Fekir opened the scoring by changing a penalty kick within the tenth minute and William Carvalho sealed the victory within the 18th.

GRANADA ON TOP

Granada additionally received its second in a row, beating winless Alaves 2-1 at residence with objectives by Roberto Soldado within the seventh minute and Darwin Machis within the 79th.

The membership 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.

CADIZ PREVAILS

In a match between promoted golf equipment, Cadiz received 2-0 at Huesca with objectives by Alvaro Negredo within the eleventh and Jorge Pombo within the 83rd.

Second-division champion Huesca had opened with a shock draw at Villarreal, whereas Cadiz was coming off a house loss to Osasuna.

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