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Photo credit: Alex Caparros/Getty Images

La Liga: Round 21

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Photo credit: Josune Martínez de Albéniz/MARCA
Photo credit: Josune Martínez de Albéniz/MARCA

Real Sociedad 3-2 CA Osasuna

Lineups:

Real Sociedad: Rulli; Odriozola, Elustondo, Navas, Yuri; Illarramendi, Granero; Vela, Prieto, Oyarzabal; Willian. (4-2-3-1)

CA Osasuna: Sirigu; Álex, Tano, Oier, García, Clerc; De las Cuevas, Fausto, Čaušić; Kenan, Rivière. (5-3-2)

As typical as it is in the region, Anoeta was surrounded by a heavy rain for the game between Real Sociedad and CA Osasuna. Logically, the stadium was not as packed as always. But the rain could not prevent the teams from displaying a great show for the fans.

Real Sociedad did not play with their usual 4-3-3 scheme. They displayed a 4-2-3-1 scheme but with the same intentions of being offensive while controlling the possession of the ball. While Osasuna arrived to Anoeta with a clear plan of defending with five defenders and exploding the wings through counter-attacks.

The first 10 minutes of the game were difficult to watch because no team found the way to give rhythm to the game. Osasuna looked a little bit more aggressive after a few minutes counter-attacking through the wings. The fullbacks did a pretty good job advancing forward to drag defenders, so the forwards were able to have more working space.

In the 25th minute, Osasuna surprised home fans with the first goal. Goran Čaušić sent a beautiful cross that had a curve effect to Kenan Kodro. Emmanuel Rivière tricked defenders by getting in the way of the trajectory of the pass and jumping over the ball. Álvaro Odriozola and Aritz Elustondo left a big gap for Kenan to make the cut, drive the ball and beat Gerónimo Rulli for the first goal of the game.

Real Sociedad is one of La Liga teams that do not hesitate or desperate when they are losing. They usually keep playing under their system while being under pressure. The team focused their offensive game through the interior of the midfield. Xabi Prieto, Esteban Granero and Asier Illarramendi connected but were not able to create a clear damage thanks to the compact defensive block by Osasuna.

On the second half, Real Sociedad’s ball-movement and passing triangles improved very much in comparison to what they showed in the first half. They opened spaces and passing lanes to dominate Osasuna on every facet of the game. It was in the 62nd minute when Real Sociedad tied the game through a header by Raúl Navas after a battle inside the area in a corner situation.

Five minutes later, the hosts continue their aggressive approach after a great triangle connection between Mikel Oyarzabal and Carlos Vela. Oyarzabal sent an amazing through-pass to Vela, who made the cut between the defenders to put his team up in the scoring board.

In the 77th minute, Real Sociedad put on display their ability to add the long-passing game to their repertoire. Rulli sent a long pass to Willian José, who found the way to dribble through the middle and took advantage of the big gap left on the right by Osasuna defenders to assist Juanmi for the third goal.

It only took two minutes for Osasuna to respond after those three goals. They trust luck by sending a long-ball to the area hoping to find the head of one of the forwards. Sergio León found the ball and put on display his dribbling abilities by passing through three defenders and send a powerful shot for the fifth and final goal of the game.

A dramatic victory for Real Sociedad that allow them keeping up the fight for Champions League positions against Atlético de Madrid and Villarreal CF. This lost extend the misery for Osasuna this season by extending their winning-less streak to 13 games.

About Jose Sanchez

Journalism student at the University of Florida. Venezuelan and future sports journalist.

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