R. Sociedad RSO
Merino 82'
Real Madrid RMA
Sergio Ramos 49' (p),Benzema 69'

Real Madrid beat Real Sociedad to go top of LaLiga table

Jonathan Meaney

Real Madrid beat Real Sociedad to go top of LaLiga table

Real Sociedad vs Real Madrid: as it happened

Here's the player ratings for Real Madrid

Real Madrid were able to take advantage of Barcelona's 0-0 slip up against Sevilla on Friday, beating Real Sociedad 2-1 to put themselves level on points with El Blaugrana at the top of the table.

Sergio Ramos nailed a Vinicius-won penalty not long after the break, before Karim Benzema doubled Madrid's lead in the 70th minute.

The hosts managed to claw one back through Merino on 83', but Los Blancos hung on until the end to ensure a hard-fought victory. Eight games to go and all to play for as the battle between Madrid and Barca look sets to go down to the wire. 


Peep, peep, peep! Game over. Madrid take the three points in a hard-fought win in San Sebastian against Sociedad. 


Socidedad keeper launches a free kick towards the Madrid box, but in the the ref blows for a foul on a Madrid player and that should be that!



Chance Sociedad as Le Normand connects well with his head inside the box. But it's drifted wide of the near post. 


Sociedad have the ball and three minutes to put it in the net to salvage a point. 


Six minutes of added time to be played. 


Sociedad pushing for an equaliser as Mendy and Modric come on for Marcelo and Vinicius. 


Goal Sociedad!!! Lopez plays  a cross from the right towards Willian Jose, who jumps high with Carvajal. The ball travels over both of them, but the unmarked Merino is on hand to drive the ball passed Courtois. 2-1!


Chance Sociedad! Elustondo plays a nice cross to fellow replacement Willian Jose, but his header is off target. 


Two changes for Madrid: Asensio and Mariano on; James and Benzema off.


Goal Madrid!!! Benzema takes down a cross by the edge of the six-yard box, moves away from the goal to give himself a better angle for the shot, and slots the ball home. Sociedad appeal for a handball against Benzema as he took the balll down. But it was more his shoulder than his arm and VAR rules the goal stands. That's the Frenchman's 17th league goal of the season as Madrid take a 2-0 lead. 


Sociedad score through Januzaj, who came on for Oyarzabal a little earlier. It was a stunning strike form the Belgian, but one of his team mates was offside and in the path of the oncoming ball, so it has been ruled out. 


Sociedad tiki-taka-ing around the Madrid box, but eventually they can't get a shot off. 


Images show Ramos with a large ice pack around his leg as he makes his way up the empty stands to watch the final 25 minutes of this game. Hopefully it's nothing too serious, but the fact that he managed to walk up those steps on his own would indicate that it isn't. 


Chance Madrid! Vinicius tees up Kroos, who hits a clean strike from 20 yards. But Remiro does well to save. 


Changes for both sides. Gorosabel makses way for Elustondo (Sociedad); while Militao has come on for Sergio Ramos.


Carvajal plays a pin-perfect cross to Benzema in the box, but the Frenchman can't seem to manoeuvre his body correctly to get a shot off. 


Goal!!! Ramos steps up and drives his penatly into the bottom right corner, sending Remiro the wrong way with a little shimmy. 1-0, Madrid! That's the captain's ninth goal this season. 


Penalty for Madrid! VInicius makes up for that poor pass by beating two defenders in the same area, before being  taken down as he took a shot. 


Vinicus is immediately released down the left, but his pass into the box is very poor.


Peep! Real Madrid kick off the second half with the score at 0-0 in San Sebastian. 


The teams are making their way back on to the field to begin the second half. Local time is two mintues past eleven.


Peep, peep! That's the end of the first half. 0-0 in San Sebastian, with neither side looking particularly dangerous. The two best chances have fallen to Madrid through Benzema and Vinicius. But both strikers were unable to beat Remiro, who has looked solid between the sticks for Sociedad so far. 


Wondering if Zidane is already regretting starting James; the Colombian has hardly touched the ball in this first half, which the ref is about to blow up any minute now.


Vinicius shoots after beating two defenders in the box, but Remiro saves! 


Sociedad's first sustained bit of pressure ends with a corner for the home side. Odegaard receives the short pass from the corner and tries a dink into the box, but again Madrid clear. 


Sociedad have a chance now from a free kick after Casemiro gives away the foul. Odegaard opts to cross this time but Madrid clear the danger. 


Madrid break with Valverde, who has Benzema on the left and Vinicius ahead of him on the right. He chooses a pass to the former, who drives his shot straight at Remiro. That was Madrid's first real chance of the game! 


Water break! It's been a lively opening 30 minutes, but not a decent attempt from either side as of yet.



Valverde plays an absolute peach of a long ball to Vinicius on the left, who tried to chest it down as he rushed towards the dropping ball. But he's fouled while doing so and Madrid have a free kick on the left flank. They can do nothing with it however. That pass from Valverde though was definitely the play of the game so far. Beckhamesque. 


First corner of the game falls to Real Madrid. Kroos takes but his poor cross is easily dealt with by the Sociedad defence. 


Somewhat unintentionally, Valverde manages to play a back pass to Courtois from well inside Sociedad's half. The Uruguayan has been lively so far for the visitors. 



Twenty minutes gone here and it's been high-paced, end-to-end stuff. But neither side has tested the gloves of Courtois or Remiro. 


Foul by Odegaard on Casemiro, which has left the Brazilian in quite a bit of pain. Madrid play a short free kick and try to build something from the center...


Odegaard fails to connect well with a bouncing ball just outside the Madrid box, driving his volley well over the bar. 


Vinicius sprints down the left flank and tries to beat right back Gorosabal, who does well to fend off the Madrid attacker as he tried to round him in the box.


Odegaard trying to conduct something in the middle for the home side. Ramos gives a away a free kick and Sociedad have a chance here from a decent position. Odegaard takes the free kick but it hits the wall. 


Madrid cut out a Sociedad attack to break on the counter through Valverde. The Uruguayan drives forward towards the area but his squared pass to Benzema doesn't reach the Frenchman and the home side clear the danger. 


Madrid looking good here. Marcelo plays a deep cross from the left, but it goes beyond the heads of the Madrid forwards. 


Madrid do very well to build an attack quickly from their own third. The move ends with Valverde looking to tee up Vinicius by the penalty spot. But the Brazilian drives his shot over the bar. 


Game underway! Madrid playing in their third green kit.

The teams are on the field at the empty Anoeta Stadium. Ready to go here!


This is one game where Atlético Madrid will liklely be rooting for their bitter city rivals. Zidane's men could do Los Rojiblancos a favour by beating the hosts tonight, who, currently sitting in sixth place, are won of Atlético's main challengers for the third and fourth Champions League spots. 

First league start for James since October and coincidentally his last start in all competitions came in that 4-3 Copa defeat to Sociedad in February.

Lets not forget that the last time these two played each other in February, Sociedad stunned Madrid by winning 4-3 at the Bernabéu to knock Los Blancos out of the Copa del Rey. The last league fixture between the two at the same stadium in November finished 3-1 to the home side. 

Who would have put money on James starting ahead of Hazard for such a crucial fixture?


As Sociedad and Madrid prepare to square off in 25 minutes, Valencia have secured all three poins against Osasuna, who took a 5-0 spanking from Atlético Madrid a few days ago. 

Madrid warming up...

And here is how Sociedad will line out...

Here is the Madrid's tramsheet, with James surprisingly being named in the starting XI...

Real Madrid have a chance to draw level with leaders Barcelona if they can secure all three points after the Blaugrana played out a 0-0 draw with Sevilla on Friday. But standing in their way of course is Real Sociedad and Martin Odegaard, the Blanco loanee who has been one of the sensations of the season. 

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Real Sociedad and Real Madrid at the Anoeta Stadium in San Sebastian. Kick off is in a half an hour, In the meantime you follow the buildup to the game with us here.