Real Sociedad

Getty Images

La Liga roundup: Real Sociedad spoil Atletico Madrid’s perfect start

Leave a comment

Atletico Madrid’s first hiccup of the season headlines Saturday’s La Liga action.

[ FOLLOW: PST’s La Liga coverage ]

Real Sociedad 2-0 Atletico Madrid

La Liga had an upset of their own.

Atletico Madrid remain league leaders, but their undefeated record is no more after a 2-0 loss to Real Sociedad in San Sebastian.

Both sides played to a quiet first half, but in the 58th minute Martin Odegaard opened the score in front of a packed Anoeta, as his left-footed shot was deflected by Stefan Savic.

Just two minutes later, in his Real Sociedad debut, longtime Arsenal fullback Nacho Monreal tapped in a second chance inside the box, following an initial stretching save from Jan Oblak.

Diego Simeone’s side pushed desperately in the latter stages of the game; not enough to get passed Miguel Moya, though.

La Reala sets their sights on Espanyol, while Los Colchoneros, with Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid at their heels, look to bounce back against Celta Vigo.

Real Madrid 3-2 Levante

Real Madrid conceded two goals in the second half in Saturday’s game, but their formidable first 45 minutes was enough to help them walk away a wet Santiago Bernabeu with three, precious points.

Coming on in the 60th minutes, Eden Hazard and Militao made their La Liga debuts with Zinedine Zidane’s side.

With two goals in six minutes, Karim Benzema gave the home side an early comfortable lead. Shortly before the halftime whistle, Casameiro added his own, following an assist from Vinicius Junior.

Despite falling short, Levante quickly got after evaporating Real Madrid’s first-half dominance. In the 49th minute, Borja Mayoral, cutting through Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos, put one past Thibaut Courtois.

Following Benzema’s post-rattling shot and disallowed Real Madrid goal by VAR, Gonzalo Melero’s header gave the visiting side their final goal of the bout.

One point behind rivals Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid look for another victory against Sevilla. Elsewhere, Levante, who are in decent shape, host Eibar next.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Barcelona 5-2 Valencia

RCD Mallorca 0-0 Athletic Bilbao

Leganes 0-3 Villareal

La Liga roundup: Griezmann shines in Barcelona’s 5-2 drubbing of Betis

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Wins from Barcelona and Atletico Madrid highlight La Liga’s Sunday action.

[ FOLLOW: PST’s La Liga coverage ]

Barcelona 5-2 Real Betis

Antoine Griezmann’s Camp Nou debut was one for the books.

With Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez sidelined with injuries, the floor was all Griezmann’s. He didn’t disappoint.

Down 1-0, Griezmann, sneaking past his markers inside the box, acrobatically tapped a lofting ball from Sergi Roberto into the back of the net.

The best was yet to come, however.

In the second half, as Barcelona pinned Real Betis back in their defensive third, the Frenchman’s magic came to life.

Soon after, the floodgates opened – Barcelona’s skill effortlessly began to pick apart a weaker Betis side. Just 30 minutes after the 28-year-old’s second goal, Ernesto Valverde’s side posed a 5-1 lead.

Loren Moron’s superb strike gave Betis a second, but the defending champions had already done the damage behind goals from Carles Perez, Jordi Alba, Arturo Vidal and Griezmann.

With Sunday’s performance in mind, how will Barcelona function with Messi, Suarez and Griezmann spearheading the attack?

Osasuna may soon find that out firsthand as they host the Catalonians next. Elsewhere, looking for their first points of the season, Betis host Leganes.

Leganes 0-1 Atletico Madrid 

With a goal in the 70th minute, Vitolo played the unlikely hero for Atletico Madrid in their 1-0 win over Leganes.

Following a smooth lay-off from Joao Felix, the 29-year-old calmly slotted the ball past Juan Soriano, ten minutes after replacing Mario Hermoso.

The goal certainly meant a lot to Vitolo and Atletico Madrid, who along with Sevilla, are one of two teams to start the season with six points after two matchweeks.

Although not entirely dominant throughout the course of the match, the home side was inches from stripping two points from Los Colchoneros with Jonathan Silva’s free-kick hitting the crossbar.

Despite having a pair of clear-cut opportunities on Sunday, Atletico’s $142 million summer signing is yet to celebrate his first La Liga goal. Alvaro Morata, too, is waiting to catch fire.

With Atletico hosting an underperforming Eibar next, the narrative that Simeone’s side is lacking efficiency in the attack can soon fall flat. On the other hand, no points to their name, will look to exploit a confidence-battered Real Betis.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Alaves 0-0 Espanyol

RCD Mallorca 0-1 Real Sociedad

La Liga roundup: 10-man Real Madrid hold off Celta in season opener

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Spain’s top flight is back, and here’s a roundup of all of Saturday’s action.

[ FOLLOW: PST’s La Liga coverage ]

Celta Vigo 1-3 Real Madrid

If Real Madrid and Barcelona are, again, going to battle toe-to-toe for La Liga, consider the former team to have a head start.

Hours after Barca got the Aritz Aduriz treatment, Real Madrid – playing with 10 men for more than 40 minutes – took care of business, calmly beating Celta Vigo behind goals from Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Lucas Vasquez. Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric was sent off for a straight red in the 54th minute, while Gareth Bale, who stole headlines this summer after being rumored to leave time and time again, started and played 75 minutes.

Despite not having control of possession, the quality from Zinedine Zidane’s men was too much for Ruben Blanco. For instance, just look at Kroos’ strike from distance:

Celta, on the other hand, had a goal disallowed by VAR right before halftime, but still managed to spoil Thibaut Courtois‘ clean  in the dying minutes when Iker Losada, 18, scored two minutes after taking the field.

Valencia 1-1 Real Sociedad

Four minutes into stoppage time, Kevin Gameiro had the picture-perfect opportunity to record a brace and seal three points for Valencia in their first showing of the new campaign.

In front of an anxious Mestalla, he missed.

And just six minutes later, in the final breathe of the match, Mikel Oyarzabal did what Gameiro failed to do: convert from the spot. The rumored Manchester City target was influential all match and, in the end, rewarded with a goal.

A tough pill to swallow, Valencia will now look to earn their first win against Celta Vigo, while Sociedad next stop in their three-game road trip to start the season is Mallorca.

Villareal 4-4 Granada 

It wasn’t the matchup the majority had circled on their calendars, but Villareal and Granda’s 4-4 draw proved to be the most entertaining game on Saturday. A pair of penalties and an own goal were a few of the goals that made up the eight-goal frenzy.

Santi Carzorla – looking healthier than ever before – opened things up from the spot 35 minutes in. In the 75th minute, another familiar face, Roberto Soldado, put Granada a goal away from the home side. Shortly after, in the 81st minute, Antonio Puertas bagged Granada’s fourth and the night’s final goal.

An eight-goal match in such fashion will be hard to top on Sunday, that’s for sure.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Leganes 0-1 Osasuna

RCD Mallorca 2-0 Eibar

Transfer rumors: Oyarzabal to Man City; Milinkovic-Savic to Man United

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The transfer window is in full swing as reports and rumors are in overdrive between now and Aug. 8 when the window shuts for the start of the 2019-20 season.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Here’s a look at some of the latest gossip from around the Premier League…


Man City don’t want to sell Leroy Sane this summer, but Pep Guardiola has admitted that the player will decide the outcome as Bayern Munich continue to lurk and grow in confidence of signing the German winger.

But the reigning Premier League champions have a plan in place to replace Sane. Step forward, Mikel Oyarzabal.

The Real Sociedad star, 22, has a release clause of $83.5 million and according to a report in Spain from AS, City will activate that in order for the Spanish U21 international to replace Sane.

Oyarzabal starred for Spain in their U21 European Championship success this summer and with Sane said to be valued at around $93 million, City would replace one hugely-talented, and young, winger with another. Oyarzabal has been a rising star at the Basque club and he’s scored 14 goals in each of the past two seasons, with four La Liga campaigns now under his belt.

City don’t want Sane to leave but if he does, they kinda have this transfer market thing figured out, right?


A report from the Daily Mail claims that Manchester United have agreed a deal for Serbia and Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, but the move will only go through if Paul Pogba leaves for Real Madrid this summer.

The central midfielder, 24, has been linked with Europe’s top clubs time and time again over the past few seasons but after bursting onto the scene in Serie A in 2016, his stock has fallen a little after some inconsistency and a less than impressive 2018 World Cup. But in the 2018-19 campaign he rebounded to lead Lazio to the Italian Cup and he was also named the best midfielder in Italy’s top-flight.

A powerful, attack-minded central midfielder, Milinkovic-Savic would be a perfect like-for-like replacement for Pogba if he was to leave United. It is believed Lazio also want over $100 million for their Serbian star, which is $50 million less than what United want from Real for Pogba.

If this does happens, maybe Ed Woodward is showing the first signs that he is indeed a genius in the transfer market after all…

On a serious note, the jury is still out on Milinkovic-Savic at the highest level and his defensive capabilities are a little concerning and may be similar to the issues United have had with Pogba in recent seasons. The fact he is called the Serbian Pogba says it all, as his talent is undoubted and United would need him to become more of an all-round midfielder.

Fun fact: Milinkovic-Savic’s brother, Vanja, was a United goalkeeper from 2014-16 but left them after failing to gain a work permit in the UK.

Odegaard reportedly chooses two-year loan at Real Sociedad

Photo by Trond Tandberg/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Martin Odegaard was linked with an upgrade from the Eredivisie to the Bundesliga, but is hoping to give Real Madrid a close-up look with his third loan stint in as many seasons.

Not 21 until December, the once “next big thing” finally had a breakout campaign last season when he scored 11 goals and added 12 assists in 39 matches on loan from Vitesse.

[ MORE: France-USWNT recap | Player ratings ]

It was another step up after a decent but unspectacular loan stint at Heerenveen the previous season, and he reportedly turned down interest from Ajax in order to make his latest move.

So now it’ll be a move to La Liga despite links to Bayer Leverkusen, a German club who would’ve provided Champions League football to the playmaker.

Real Sociedad is the club in question and it’s a two-year loan for La Liga’s ninth place club last season. Odegaard will be managed by Basque Country mainstay Imanol Alguacil.

Odegaard has a goal and two assists in 18 caps for Norway. This is a big chance for him to impress Real, or impress someone else to make a big offer for the boy who once caused a bidding war amongst Europe’s biggest clubs at age 15.