La Liga: Real Madrid begins title defence with goalless draw against Sociedad

La Liga champion Real Madrid struggled to create chances upfront as it began the new season with a goalless draw against Real Sociedad.

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos battles for the ball with Real Sociedad's Mikel Oyarzabal.   -  Getty Images

Real Madrid made an underwhelming start to the La Liga 2020-21 season as it could only draw 0-0 away to Real Sociedad on Sunday.

The champion looked rusty and particularly toothless up front, barely creating any chances of note in either half as Karim Benzema found little support in Brazilian teenage forwards Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo.

Sociedad looked more likely to score in either half, with Sweden forward Alexander Isak forcing Real keeper Thibaut Courtois to save with his feet before flashing a shot narrowly over the bar before halftime.

Lively winger Ander Barrenetxea was inches away from breaking the deadlock early in the second period but fired just wide of the far post.

Benzema missed Real's best chance of the first half when he lost his footing as he rounded goalkeeper Alex Remiro and later saw a goal-bound shot blocked by a dive from Sociedad defender Aritz Elustondo.

 

Madrid keeper Courtois said he was pleased with his side's performance all in all.

“We're happy with how organised we were and how we didn't allow them many chances but the problem was that we couldn't score, we struggled to complete our final passes,” he said.

“We were looking strong even though it was our first game, we played with a high level of intensity although we found it more difficult in the second half but in general we can be happy with how our first game has gone.”

Real Madrid forced to switch planes after technical problem  

Real spent its brief close season moving on a number of unwanted players such as Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Achraf Hakimi and Sergio Reguilon but the only new additions were returning loanees Martin Odegaard and defender Alvaro Odriozola.

Odegaard started against Sociedad, where he had a highly successful spell last season, but Real was unable to properly command the middle of the park without Casemiro, who started on the bench before coming on in the second half.

Substitute Marvin, 20, could have had a dream Madrid debut when a chance fell his way after coming on but failed to keep his composure.

Sociedad's David Silva made his first La Liga appearance in a decade when he came on as a substitute in the second half.

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