Real Sociedad – Athletic Club: Set Pieces The Story As La Real And Athletic Club Play To Stalemate (1-1)
In what was a tense and physical Basque Derby, it would be set pieces that would allow the sides to share the points. A second half penalty from Alexander Isak would open the scoring for La Real, though a late free kick from Iker Muniain (with some help from a howler by Álex Remiro) would secure Athletic Club a point.
Tactical analysis and match report by Charlie Tuley.
Immanol Alguacil’s Real Sociedad came into the match with the chance to return to the top of the LaLiga table with a win or a draw. La Real had been at the top of the league for the past month, though the club has played an extra match than most of their close competition. For the match against Athletic Club, La Real were without their star winger Mikel Oyarzabal, as well as left back Nacho Monreal and striker Carlos Fernandez. Oyarzabal, out with a muscle injury, was a huge miss for La Real, as he is the side’s top scorer this season, as well as their biggest creative threat.
Alguacil made four changes from the team that beat Celta de Vigo 2-0 in the midweek, with fullbacks Aihen Muñoz and Joseba Zaldúa moving to the bench in favor of Andoni Gorosabel and Diego Rico. The two flanked center-backs Aritz Elustondo and Robin le Normand, ahead of goalkeeper Álex Remiro, who also returned to the starting eleven. The midfield trio of Mikel Merino, Martín Zubimendi, and David Silva remained unchanged from the previous matchday, and the front three was made up of Adnan Januzaj, Alexander Isak, and Alexander Sørloth, with Isak and Januzaj playing . . .