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Second-String Reigns Supreme: Guler Secures Vital Win for Real Madrid in La Liga

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A youthful Real Madrid side, spearheaded by Arda Guler’s wonder goal, edged past Real Sociedad 1-0 in La Liga. See player ratings and analysis for both teams!

Real Madrid Grind Out Narrow Victory Against Real Sociedad: Guler Shines in Depleted Line-up

Real Madrid took a vital step towards La Liga glory on Friday night, securing a narrow 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad at Anoeta. With their focus firmly set on the upcoming Champions League semi-final clash against Bayern Munich, Carlo Ancelotti opted to rotate heavily, fielding a team brimming with young talent.

The gamble paid off in the 13th minute when 19-year-old Arda Guler, making his first La Liga start, fired Real Madrid into the lead. Latching onto a pinpoint cross from Dani Carvajal, Guler displayed impressive composure to slot the ball past Remiro in the Sociedad goal.

Despite conceding early, the hosts dominated possession throughout the game. Sociedad threatened on numerous occasions, with youngsters Benat Turrientes and Ander Barrenetxea impressing with their creativity and attacking intent. However, Real Madrid’s resolute defense, marshaled by the experience of Carvajal and a surprisingly error-free Eder Militao, held firm.

The second half saw a more cautious approach from both sides. Real Madrid, content with their lead, prioritized maintaining their defensive shape. Sociedad, lacking a cutting edge in the final third, struggled to break down the visitors’ resolute backline.

Ancelotti introduced fresh legs in the form of Vinicius Jr., Federico Valverde, and Eduardo Camavinga in the latter stages, but the scoreline remained unchanged. The final whistle blew to a chorus of groans from the home crowd, while jubilant Real Madrid players celebrated a hard-fought victory.

Player Ratings:

Real Sociedad:

  • Remiro (GK) – 6/10: Made a couple of decent saves but could do nothing about Guler’s well-placed finish.
  • Odriozola (RB) – 7/10: Provided good width and support going forward, linking up well with Barrenetxea.
  • Zubeldia (CB) – 6/10: Solid defensively but struggled to cope with Guler’s pace and movement in the opening stages.
  • Le Normand (CB) – 6/10: Composed on the ball but lacked the leadership needed to marshal the defense effectively.
  • Javi Galan (LB) – 6/10: Offered some attacking threat down the left flank but was caught out defensively on a few occasions.
  • Zubimendi (CM) – 6/10: Tidy in possession but failed to control the midfield battle against Tchouameni and Ceballos.
  • Merino (CM) – 6/10: Worked hard but lacked the creativity to unlock the Real Madrid defense.
  • Barrenetxea (RW) – 6/10: Showed glimpses of his talent with some dangerous runs and crosses.
  • Kubo (LW) – 7/10: Sociedad’s most creative force, causing problems with his dribbling and passing.
  • Turrientes (AM) – 7/10: A real threat going forward, testing Kepa with some powerful long-range efforts.
  • Oyarzabal (ST) – 6/10: Largely anonymous, failing to make a significant impact on the game.

Real Madrid:

  • Kepa (GK) – 7/10: A shaky start with some unconvincing punches but grew into the game, making some crucial saves in the second half.
  • Carvajal (RB) – 8/10: A commanding presence at the back, providing vital leadership and a crucial assist for Guler’s goal.
  • Militao (CB) – 6/10: Looked rusty after a spell on the sidelines, making a couple of uncharacteristic errors. However, recovered well and put in a solid defensive performance.
  • Nacho (CB) – 6/10: A couple of sloppy moments in possession but generally composed when called upon defensively.
  • Fran Garcia (LB) – 6/10: Steady performance at left-back, offering decent support in attack and keeping Barrenetxea relatively quiet.
  • Tchouameni (DM) – 8/10: Arguably Real Madrid’s best player on the night. Dominated the midfield battle with his strength and tackling, while also displaying a surprising range of passing.
  • **Ceballospen_spark
  • Eder Militao (CB) – 5/10: Looked rusty after his recent injury absence, making some uncharacteristic errors in possession. Will need to regain his sharpness quickly.
  • Nacho Fernandez (CB) – 6/10: A couple of sloppy moments but largely held his own against a lively Sociedad attack. Provided good leadership in the back four.
  • Fran Garcia (LB) – 6/10: Given a tough test by Odriozola but stuck to his task defensively. Offered some attacking threat down the left flank.

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