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Real Sociedad 0-2 Real Madrid: Benzema And Sneijder Ruin Centenary Celebrations

Real Sociedad 0-2 Real Madrid: Benzema And Sneijder Ruin Centenary Celebrations

The home side wanted to celebrate their 100-year anniversary, but they were left shell-shocked by Los Merengues...


Karim Benzema and Wesley Sniejder spoiled Real Sociedad's centenary celebrations, grabbing the goals as Real Madrid claimed another pre-season victory.

The side from La Segunda struggled throughout the match, and had keeper Claudio Bravo to thank for keeping the score respectable.

Real Madrid fielded a strong line-up, with Xabi Alonso, Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema all winning a start, but the hosts looked more than comfortable in the early exchanges.

It was a fairly sedate start to the game, and it took ten minutes for the first chance to eventuate, when Zurutuza blasted wide from distance. Xabi Alonso then had a similar effort against his hometown team, but it flew marginally past the far post.

Los Merengues were starting to dominate, and Claudio Bravo had to be alert to tip a Cristiano Ronaldo drive over the bar. The Portuguese star was causing plenty of problems, and he tested Bravo again with a fierce free-kick that the keeper could only parry into the path of Kaka, who headed over.

The visitors now had a monopoly on possession, but Sociedad were still doing well to mainly restrict them to long shots, one of which from Kaka grazed the post before going wide. The Brazilian then played Benzema through on goal, but he scuffed his shot just as he was preparing to slot past the keeper.

Kaka was the most lively player on the pitch, and a neat one-two with Raul nearly paid off, but Bravo got down well to his left to save. Then, out of nowhere, the hosts had the best chance of the game, when Zurutuza headed into the path of Agirretxe in the six yard box, only to see him inexplicably head wide, with the goal gaping.

On the half-hour, Ronaldo was gifted a golden chance by Albiol, but he somehow managed to miss from about three yards, smashing the ball wide.

Real Madrid continued to dominate, but they were unable to find the breakthrough, as the sides went into the break without scoring.

Manuel Pellegrini made one change at half-time, bringing Alvaro Arbeloa on for Miguel Torres. It was a the other end of the field, however, where all the action was, as Real Madrid took the lead on 48 minutes.

Cristiano Ronaldo hit a trade-mark free-kick from the edge of the box straight at Bravo, but he could only parry straight into the path of Benzema, who tapped in with ease. While the strike from Ronaldo was certainly fierce, it should still have been dealt with by the keeper.

Los Merengues showed no signs of complacency, as they continued to attack Sociedad, who were barely leaving their own half. Cynical fouls soon started to creep in the game, as the home side's frustration began to tell.

With twenty-five minutes left, Pellegrini made a triple change, with Arjen Robben, Gonzalo Higuain and Esteban Granero replacing Raul, Kaka and Ronaldo. The fresh legs almost made an instant impact, as Robben went on a typical run, that ended with a fierce shot that Bravo tipped around the post.

The Dutchman was proving a constant threat, as he cut inside from the right once more, only to be denied by the busy Bravo. With thirteen minutes remaining,, Xabi Alonso was withdrawn to a standing ovation, along with Guti, with Wesley Sneijder and Pepe entering the fray.

All of Madrid's play was flowing through Robben, and Benzema had a great chance to increase his tally after being played through by the winger, only for Bravo to save the day once more.

As the fourth official held up the board to indicate three minutes of added time, Wesley Sneijder added the icing to the cake, smashing home a sublime free-kick past the helpless Bravo. It proved to be the last action of the match, as Los Merengues picked up another encouraging victory.

Arjun Miglani, Goal.com

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