Vinicius Rescues Real Madrid From Defeat
Real Madrid's chances of chasing down LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid were dealt a blow on Monday as they needed a late Vinicius Junior equaliser to secure a 1-1 draw with Real Sociedad.
It could have been worse for Zinedine Zidane's side, with Vinicius' finish in the 89th minute preventing what would have been a damaging defeat after a weekend in which both Atletico and Barcelona had won.
Atletico's victory over Villarreal on Sunday put them six points clear of Real Madrid, an advantage that is now only cut to five ahead of next week's Madrid derby at the Wanda Metropolitano. Atletico also have a game in hand.
The result ends Real Madrid's run of five consecutive wins while Portu's brilliant header for Real Sociedad early in the second half was also the first goal conceded by the reigning champions in five games.
It represents an important shift in momentum. A few days ago Atletico might have hoped just to hold on to first place next weekend but now they could spy an opportunity to all but knock their opponents out of the title race.
"We're playing for a lot there," said Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. "We can win, we're physically strong and we're getting players back. There's a lot of time left to keep fighting in LaLiga."
Barcelona kept their own resurgence going on Saturday by overcoming Sevilla and now sit level on points with Real Madrid, having also played one game fewer than the leaders. Real Sociedad sit fifth, the top four seemingly out of reach.
Madrid had 20 shots to Real Sociedad's six but lacked edge in the final third, with the injured Karim Benzema watching on from the stands.
"We've had games where we won and maybe we didnt deserve to win as well, we can't change anything," said Madrid coach Zidane. "We have to keep going. There is a long way to go." (AFP)