Levante superior for most of the game but unable to stop Real Sociedad in the end (1-3)
Real Sociedad are back to winning ways after a game where they were awful for seventy minutes before Garitano’s astute adjustments helped them to an unexpected but ultimately deserved turnaround. Levante remain a fun offensive team to watch, but their defensive frailties were exposed by the most unlikely of adversaries.
Levante and Real Sociedad opened matchday twelve of LaLiga and arrived at the Ciutat de Valencia in pretty opposite situations. Levante were in really good form, undefeated in their last six matches while Real Sociedad were winless in their last four. Levante surprisingly had the sixth highest expected goals The amount of goals a team is expected to score based on the quality of the shots they take. created in the league, but also the fourth most expected goals conceded. A feat that would come back to bite them.
Real Sociedad, on the other hand, had the opposite problem - a decent defense (seventh best expected goals conceded) but struggling to find goals. La Real were scoreless for 287 minutes and were on the brink of beating their worst record since their last promotion: 324 minutes without scoring in 2011/12. A clash of opposites.
Levante’s manager Paco López started with the 5-3-2 formation that was introduced in the game against Alavés and had been credited as the reason behind the form improvement. López surprised by leaving his pichichi Roger on the bench and playing “El Comandante” José Morales as a left wing back, preferring Emmanuel Boateng and Borja Mayoral to lead the attack. Antonio Luna, Armando Sadiku and Rubén Rochina were unavailable while Nikola Vukčević was supposedly recovered but Levante didn’t want to risk him again after he aggravated his injury . . .