Kubo stalks Blancos in 10-man LaLiga defeat

A 10-man Real Madrid faltered once again in the LaLiga title race as Takefusa Kubo haunted his former club after scoring in a 2-0 win for Real Sociedad.

Barcelona snatched a 1-0 win against Osasuna before Tuesday’s kick-off at the Reale Arena, where Madrid offered little without the suspended Vinicius Junior or the rested Karim Benzema.

Kubo – who joined La Real from Blancos last July – scored shortly after the break and, after Dani Carvajal received his marching orders for two bookings, Ander Barrenetxea secured victory for the home side.

Next week’s Champions League semi-final clash at Manchester City looks like the priority for Madrid now compared to LaLiga, where they trail leaders Barca by 14 points with five games to play.

Alex Remiro stalled as an expert to deny Eder Militao with a sixth-minute header heading into the top right corner before La Real calmed their nerves.

Martin Zubimendi deflected Alexander Sorloth’s corner from close range onto the bar from close range, while Thibaut Courtois stole away a glorious David Silva chance.

Mikel Oyarzabal had a penalty appeal rejected for a foul by Militao as the home side continued to rise, albeit without a first-half payoff.

Yet their dominance is felt immediately after the break, when Kubo takes advantage of a pass from Militao wandering through Courtois and drives through into an empty goal.

Matters got worse for Real Madrid when Carvajal was sent off for a second useless lunge at Aihen Munoz, before Barrenetxea sealed the deal in the 85th minute when he struck a low shot into the bottom left corner.

What does it mean? Immaculate Imanol’s plan rocks Madrid… again

La Real coach Imanol Alguacil has taken more points away from Madrid in La Liga than any other manager in the competition’s history, surpassing Paco Lopez (10) after scoring 12 points in 10 games (W3, D3, L4).

While the visitors were without star winger Vinicius, Los Blancos had won all three of their games this season when he hadn’t played and has avoided conceding on those occasions.

Then there was Carlo Ancelotti’s decision to let Benzema rest, showing the obvious priority of the Italian: Alguacil may have Real’s number, but the Blancos’ business card remains firmly with the Champions League.

King Kubo

Loan spells at Mallorca, Villarreal and Getafe marked an unsuccessful spell in Kubo’s Madrid career, with the Blancos showing little interest in keeping him.

But the La Real forward made his former club pay here, netting his eighth goal in 30 La Liga games for the Alguacil-based side – two more than in the previous four seasons combined (six goals in 94 games).

Need more from Militao

Miliato came close early on to score his sixth header this season in Europe’s top five leagues – no player can match his current mark of five.

Yet the Brazilian centre-back’s momentary lapse in concentration in the second period, collapsing under pressure from Sorloth before rolling in Kubo, will be what this performance will be remembered for.

Opta key facts

– Real Sociedad won their first game against Real Madrid in La Liga since May 2019, ending a seven-game winless run against Real Madrid in the competition (D3 L4).

– Real Madrid have lost six of their last 11 away games in La Liga (W4 D1), the same number of away defeats as their previous 58 top-flight matches combined (W40 D12 L6).

– Real Sociedad have taken 16 points from their last eight LaLiga games (W5 D1 L2), having collected just seven from their previous seven league games (W1 D4 L2).

– At 37 years and 114 days, David Silva is the oldest player this century to provide an assist against Real Madrid in La Liga, surpassing the record set by Eusebio with Real Valladolid in June 2001 (37 years and 65 days).

– Ander Barrenetxea has scored three goals in 18 La Liga games this season, equaling his season-high in the competition (three goals in 31 games in 2020-21).

What’s next?

Real will face Osasuna in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday, a week before La Real host Girona in La Liga.

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