With Real Madrid’s title rivals Sevilla and Barcelona both failing to secure three points earlier today, Real Madrid had the chance to extend their lead at the top of the La Liga table to four points. They hosted a high flying Real Sociedad team on the cusp of a Champions League place, and could end a run of 7 straight defeats at the Bernabeu to move into the top four tonight.
There had been few chances for either side in this game, but with 37 minutes gone Los Blancos opened the scoring. Cristiano Ronaldo poked the ball through to the advancing Mateo Kovacic and the Croatian slotted the ball beyond Rulli to give his side the lead.
The away side soon had a chance of their own, Juanmi and Canales exchanged a beautiful combination of passes and when the former received the return pass, he fired his shot narrowly wide of Navas’ goal.
It was by no means a dominant performance in the first half by Real Madrid, but they had grinded out a crucial lead in the context of this match and the season. However, the Galacticos would have to improve in the second half, with a confident Real Sociedad side not afraid to take the game to the hosts.
It took a mere five minutes in the second half for the home side to double their advantage. Kovacic this time turned provider by slipping the ball through to Cristiano Ronaldo who calmly chipped the ball over the onrushing Rulli to brighten the mood around the Bernabeu.
Real Sociedad were fortunate to have 11 men on the pitch when in the 69th minute, the previously booked Inigo Martinez cynically felled Kovacic and survived a second booking.
Rulli then cheaply gave possession away to Lucas Vazquez, who after cutting inside, was unable to beat the Argentine goalkeeper.
After his earlier challenge, Inigo Martinez was sent off in the 73rd minute. The Spaniard lashed out dangerously at Casemiro to receive his second yellow card and take an early walk down the tunnel.
The three points weren’t in any doubt for Real Madrid after Alvaro Morata converted in the 82nd minute. Navas gathered a poor Sociedad free kick to quickly start a counter attack and when Vazquez crossed the ball into the box, the substitute Morata was on hand to head home.
This win sees Real Madrid widen the gap at the top of the table to four points, with a game in hand. Real Sociedad stay in fifth place however, one point behind Atletico.