Battling Real Sociedad survived a pounding at Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday when they held Real Madrid to a goalless draw in a frantic LaLiga game.
Real Madrid recorded 20 goal attempts compared to only seven created by the visitors, who held their turf heroically to go home to San Sebastian with a point thanks to a string of saves by goalkeeper Alex Remiro.
“It was a good game, very intense,” Madrid defender Nacho said after the match. “We had the better chances and we didn’t take them, the draw is a shame. Remiro and La Real are having a great season.
“We did a good job but [the draw] leaves us with a bad taste. When you have clear chances and you miss them. It’s a long season, we have to keep going.”
Vinicius Junior wasted two opportunities from close range, one in each half, with Remiro denying both. The keeper also made critical stops of efforts by Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Rodrygo.
“I’m happy with the point, and with my game personally,” Remiro said afterwards. “Playing against these teams, they normally don’t let you off. We weren’t clinical in front of goal but we’re happy with the draw.”
“Imanol [Alguacil] gets the best out of us. It isn’t coincidence. He knows how to get it right.”
Leaders Barcelona moved to 47 points in the standings after their 1-0 victory at Girona on Saturday and are now five points ahead of second-placed Real Madrid.
Real Sociedad are third on 39 points, having played one more game than the top two.
Desperate to close the gap with Barca, Real Madrid stormed after Real Sociedad from the start, roared on by their fans on a chilly evening in the Spanish capital.
Benzema had Real’s first chance in the seventh minute when he made a brilliant individual play, dribbling past three defenders, but saw his close-range shot stopped by Remiro.
Soon afterward, Vinicius beat defender Igor Zubeldia to run into the box but his right-footed effort went just wide.
Remiro palmed away a Kroos long-range shot midway through the first half and Federico Valverde misfired a promising volley from just inside the box.
Rodrygo fashioned a shot from the edge of the box in the 35th minute and, once again, Remiro was there to make another stunning save.
Just before halftime, Benzema passed to Vinicius whose low shot was blocked by Remiro with his left leg.
The LaLiga holders had almost 70% of possession in the second half but Real Sociedad created a few opportunities with counter-attacks.
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made a brilliant save in the 60th minute from a low strike by Takefusa Kubo.
Vinicius had a final chance to break the deadlock but Remiro palmed away a one-on-one chip-shot by the Brazilian in the 70th minute.