Real Madrid's Vinicius salvages last-gasp draw with Sociedad

The draw leaves Real Madrid in the third spot, level with second-placed Barcelona and five adrift of table-topper Atletico Madrid, which has a game in hand.

Vinicius Junior

Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior celebrates scoring the equaliser against Real Sociedad.   -  AP

Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr came off the bench to snatch a 1-1 draw at home to Real Sociedad on Monday although the La Liga champion still lost momentum in the title race ahead of next week's showdown against table-topper Atletico Madrid.

Still missing key players due to a litany of injuries, Zinedine Zidane's Madrid side hit the bar twice in the first half but the visitor took the lead in the 55th minute with a towering header from forward Portu.

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Toni Kroos came close to levelling with a curling effort that just missed the target but Brazilian youngster Vinicius eventually found an equaliser in the 89th minute with a deflected effort from inside the area.

Madrid had the chance to move within three points of Atletico ahead of Sunday's derby but the draw left them third on 53 points from 25 games, level with second-placed Barcelona and five adrift of Diego Simeone's side, which has a game in hand.

"We had a good first half, we started the second badly then they scored a great goal. We got one back but there was no time left to get a second," said Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois.

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The visitor felt it should have had been awarded a penalty in the first half when Nacho Monreal was felled by Casemiro, yet Madrid looked the more dangerous side despite only managing one shot on target before the break.

Striker Mariano's header was glanced onto the crossbar by Sociedad's Andoni Gorosabel while the loose ball fell to Marco Asensio, whose shot was deflected wide for a corner from which Raphael Varane header hit the top of the bar.

Casemiro fizzed a shot from distance just wide, while Luka Modric was the only player who actually tested visiting keeper Alex Remiro.

After taking the lead against the run of play through Portu's thumping header, Sociedad should have killed the game off as Alexander Isak narrowly failed to connect with a cross from Portu, while Robin Le Normand came close with a header.

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Madrid lacked composure and ideas but maintained its hunger to find an equaliser and finally got one with a scrappy goal, Lucas Vazquez serving a low cross which bobbled around the box and was knocked in by Vinicius with the aid of a deflection.

"We leave here with a bad taste as we fought for 93 minutes and gave everything," said Sociedad's Portu. "We tried to hold on for the win but they kept attacking and got the equaliser."

The draw leaves Sociedad fifth on 42 points from 25 matches, six behind fourth-placed Sevilla which has a game in hand.

- Real to keep calm and carry on after winning streak disrupted, says Zidane -

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said his side did not view Monday's 1-1 draw at home to Real Sociedad as a missed opportunity to get back into the title race and called for calm ahead of next Sunday's clash at leaders Atletico Madrid.

"We have to stay calm. We played well and created three or four clear chances but were up against a side that also created chances. Now we need to be patient, keep our cool and rest," he told reporters.

"We deserved much more when you look at all the opportunities we created. We dominated the game, but then there have been games where we won but didn't deserve to. That's football," he added.

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The draw interrupted a five-game winning streak in all competitions but Zidane said the result would not affect preparations for visit to Atletico.

"This doesn't condition the way we're feeling about the derby at all. We'll still go there with the aim of playing a great game," the Frenchman said.

"Every team is dropping points and we know we have to keep picking up as many as we can and that's what we're going to do. There's still a long way to go."

Real Madrid's injury crisis is slowly beginning to ease and they welcomed back Federico Valverde and Rodrygo from the bench against Sociedad after lengthy spells out. Zidane added he was hopeful top scorer Karim Benzema would make it back from a thigh injury to face Atletico.