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Second out of Real’s sights after Sociedad setback

Brahim Diaz had given Real Madrid the lead before his side lost 3-1.

Mikel Merino scored the equaliser as Real Sociedad beat Real Madrid (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)
Mikel Merino scored the equaliser as Real Sociedad beat Real Madrid (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

Real Madrid saw their hopes of finishing second in LaLiga ended as they crashed to a 3-1 defeat at Real Sociedad and also had defender Jesus Vallejo sent off for handball.

The build-up had been dominated by talk of Gareth Bale’s future but the Wales international, who is expected to reject a summer move, did not even make the squad as Zinedine Zidane’s side suffered an 11th league defeat of the season and lost out to city rivals Atletico in the race for second behind Barcelona.

Atletico were held 1-1 at home by Sevilla but that together with Real’s defeat was enough to ensure them of second in the table.

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Brahim Diaz scored the opening goal for Real Madrid (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

Brahim Diaz opened the scoring early on as he evaded three tackles to slot home.

Sociedad were level 20 minutes later as Mikel Moreno took his time before beating Thibaut Courtois.

In a busy first half Real Sociedad also had an effort by Mikel Oyarzabal chalked off following a lengthy VAR review and the visitors were reduced to 10 men when Vallejo was dismissed for handball in the area.

However, Courtois guessed the right way to keep out a poor spot kick from Wilian Jose to keep the scores level at the break.

Joseba Zaldua made it 2-1 just before the hour with a header with Ander Barrenetxea extending the lead with 23 minutes left.

Diaz opened the scoring after six minutes as the former Manchester City midfielder beat two defenders before racing to the byline and cutting back inside a third challenge to slide the ball home from a tight angle.

Sociedad nearly hit back shortly after as Moreno shot from the edge of the area but Courtois was equal to the effort.

Oyarzabal tested Courtois with a shot from distance and then Diaz’s pass was just too far in front of Karim Benzema as both sides pushed for the game’s second goal.

Courtois was caught delaying his clearing kick too long but Oyarzabal’s block deflected the ball off target.

Oyarzabal was denied an equaliser after steering the ball home as he had strayed offside with 21 minutes gone. A lengthy VAR review failed to overturn the decision of referee Juan Martin Munuera.

But less than a minute later Moreno drew the home side level with a cool side-footed finish after the visitors left him unmarked on the edge of the area to collect the ball from Jose’s clever flick.

Benzema’s best chance of the half saw him fire wide across goal after Sociedad had surrendered possession close to their penalty area.

Madrid should have doubled their lead following good work in the area by Benzema but Isco shot straight at Geronimo Rulli.

Vallejo was shown a red card for saving Jose’s shot on the line after Oyarzabal had created the opening five minutes before the break.

But Jose hit his penalty too close to Courtois who was able to save the effort before trapping the ball under his body.

Sociedad started the second half on the offensive as they tried to take advantage of the extra man with Moreno firing wide after 53 minutes.

Full-back Zaldua made it 2-0 with his first goal in over a hundred appearances for the club as he outjumped Marcelo to loop a header over Courtois with 57 minutes gone.

The second half was 20 minutes old before Real Madrid threatened but Benzema’s shot from a tight angle was saved by Rulli.

Oyarzabal hit the post from Barrenetxea’s pass before the latter made it 3-1 from the rebound after 67 minutes.

Substitute Adnan Januzaj hit the bar with a shot late on for the home side but Sociedad had done more than enough to wrap up victory and enhance their hopes of European qualification.

PA

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