Looking to bounce back after three consecutive La Liga defeats for the first time since December 2020, Real Sociedad squared off against a Villarreal side confined to the depths of mid-table. However, it was the visitors who started the better of the two sides without necessarily testing Mathew Ryan in the home goal. They were nearly made to pay for their wasted pressure when Alexander Isak capitalised on a defensive error, before driving an effort into the grateful grasp of Gerónimo Rulli.
Villarreal should have taken advantage of the miss, with the best chance of the opening period falling their way when Boulaye Dia found space in the area before somehow blazing his effort clear of the bar. As the game approached the half-hour mark, it was once again Isak’s turn to be wasteful, with his header from close range comfortably saved. Just moments later, though, the forward had his goal in stunning fashion – skipping past a couple of defenders before cutting inside and curling a inch-perfect effort into the corner. The strike seemed to spark Villarreal into life, with the visitors finding a quick response through Moreno’s 38th-minute header from the corner to make it 1-1 before HT.
The second half couldn’t have started any worse for Real Sociedad, who were reduced to 10 men after Mikel Oyarzabal’s dangerous slide tackle on Yéremy Pino resulted in the winger’s dismissal. With the numeric advantage, Villarreal took control of proceedings – maintaining possession and pushing for the winner. Eventually, the ‘Yellow Submarine’ were rewarded for their efforts, with Moreno once again heading home from the corner in the 69th minute.
Ultimately, Real Sociedad struggled to mount a response up against an extra man, with Alexander Sørloth heading their best effort into the arms of Rulli, before Chukwueze wrapped the game up at the other end. With the comfortable victory, Villarreal rise up to 10th, as 6th-placed Sociedad continue their miserable rut.
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