Real Madrid came from behind to beat Real Sociedad 2-1 and climb back to the top of La Liga on Sunday, maintaining their perfect start to the season.
After Barcelona put five past Real Betis in a flashy display on Saturday the onus was on Carlo Ancelotti’s Madrid side to maintain their 100 percent record and they did, against the tricky Basque visitors.
Propelled by the electric Takefusa Kubo, Real Sociedad took an early lead through Ander Barrenetxea, but Madrid hit back with goals from Fede Valverde and Joselu to earn their fifth win from five games.
England international Jude Bellingham was unable to continue his excellent goalscoring form, after netting five goals in his first four Madrid matches, but remains the division’s top goalscorer.
Madrid start their Champions League campaign on Wednesday at home against Union Berlin, and despite losing Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema in the summer and star player Vinicius Junior to injury, remain a force to be reckoned with.
“We kept believing, we know that here at home the support we’ve recieved is incredible,” said left-back Fran Garcia, who set up both goals.
“I’m happy to help the team, now we have to think about the next game which is coming up very soon.”
Garcia came through the Real Madrid youth system, moving to another capital club in Rayo Vallecano before Los Blancos brought him back this summer.
The Basque visitors went ahead at the new-look Santiago Bernabeu after only five minutes, when Kubo stroked a fine pass into Barrenetxea’s path.
Kepa Arrizabalaga kept out the first effort with a fine save but could not claw out the second.
Kubo then beat the goalkeeper with a brilliant strike, but the ball brushed the offside Mikel Oyarzabal on its way in, so it was disallowed.
Joselu hit the crossbar with the goal gaping and Alex Remiro denied Dani Carvajal’s volley from Bellingham’s dipping pass as Madrid found their footing.
Valverde slammed Real Madrid level less than a minute into the second half, lashing Fran Garcia’s cut-back in off the post from outside the area.
The left-back created the second goal too, crossing for target man Joselu to nod the hosts ahead at the back post.
The Spain international, on loan from Espanyol, was immediately taken off for Eduardo Camavinga, as Ancelotti sought more control of the game.
The Italian got it too, with the visitors no longer finding spaces between Madrid lines, as Rodrygo ploughed a lone furrow up front.
– ‘Confident’ –
Bellingham almost extended his hot streak in stoppage time but Remiro superbly saved the diving header after Brahim Diaz found the England star arriving in the area.
“I think we have to fix some things, because we let in an early goal, but this is the Bernabeu and with our fans we turned it around,” said Joselu.
“We’re doing a bit of everything, we’re confident in ourselves, there’s a lot of quality in the squad and we came from behind again.
“I’m happy, these are goals that get the team points, three points, I’m happy to keep adding my grain of sand.”
Madrid lead Barcelona by two points, with both of Spain’s big two sides unbeaten, although the Catalans drew their opening game against Getafe.