However, Los Blancos ended the game in third place after drawing 1-1 with Julen Lopetegui’s side. This was a poor performance from Zinedine Zidane’s men, and it was a complete departure from the team’s recent run of good performances.
Having won each of their last five matches in all competitions, Real Madrid were widely tipped to secure victory against Real Sociedad. Once the game started, though, the underdogs looked more threatening with every attacking move.
It took a last-minute strike from Vinicius Junior to rescue a point for Real Madrid after Cristian Portu scored the opener for Real Sociedad early in the second half.
Real Madrid struggling to score goals
Despite their fine form in recent weeks, Real Madrid have struggled to score goals. They haven’t scored more than two goals in each of their last six games. In fact, the last time that Los Blancos netted more than twice in a match was on January 23, when they thrashed Deportivo Alaves 4-1 away from home.
Against Real Sociedad on Monday, Real Madrid had just three shots on target. For a side aiming to challenge for the title, this is simply not good enough.
The situation was made worse by the injury-enforced absence of Karim Benzema. The Frenchman is currently Real Madrid’s top scorer but has been out for some time. In his absence, Zidane named an attacking trio of Marco Asensio, Mariano Diaz and Isco against Real Sociedad.
All three players, although very talented, are inconsistent and not clinical enough in front of goal. Their inefficiency, therefore, saw them all substituted by the 61st minute.
Benzema’s absence has left Real Madrid without an out-and-out striker, which means their goal struggles could continue for some time.
Real Madrid limping in title race
Real Madrid had the chance to move to within three points of league leaders Atletico Madrid but badly fluffed their lines. By drawing with Real Sociedad, Los Blancos have dropped to third place and are level on points with bitter rivals Barcelona.
Zidane called for calm in the aftermath of the game, but it’s obvious that Real Madrid are limping in the title race. They will need to do better if they want to remain contenders.
Zidane said as quoted by Goal:
"We have to remain calm. We had a good game and we had three or four chances [to score]. Patience, calm and rest. We were up against a team that creates chances against you. We have to carry on. It doesn't change the way we go into the derby. We have to go there to have a great game."
Real Madrid’s next game is against Atletico Madrid. The derby could prove to be a defining moment in the title race.
A win for Real Madrid would put them within touching distance of Atletico, but anything other than victory could spell the end of Los Blancos’ title chase.