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Sociedad show they are La Real deal

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Real Sociedad climbed to third in La Liga standings with a narrow but demanding 1-0 win over Real Mallorca. They have now won six league games against Los Piratas without conceding a single goal – the longest ongoing streak of a club without conceding against a single opponent in the Spanish top-flight.

Arriving into the clash on the back of a seventh straight win across all competitions, Real Sociedad were off to an exhilarating start within the opening minutes, as an unmarked Mikel Merino rose high above his counterparts in the Mallorca box, perfectly connecting with Brais Méndez’s corner delivery to head the ball past a helpless Predrag Rajković.

The goalkeeper turned instrumental thereafter though, going on to make a whole bunch of saves – the best of which saw him deny Takefusa Kubo from point-blank range midway through the half, before brilliantly turning Mendez’s low shot away. Perhaps inspired by their guardian between the posts, Los Piratas gradually stamped their presence on the game, as they tried to penetrate the home defence with an attacking onslaught. However, they struggled to find a clear cut opening as the break approached, with the HT result meaning that just one of their previous ten league matches this season has seen more than one first-half goal.

Sociedad restarted proceedings in similar manner to how they started the first half, with Ander Guevara almost pulling off a brilliant team effort just before the hour mark. Nevertheless, just moments later, the home crowd gasped a huge sigh of relief, after Amath Ndiaye’s shot from inside the box into the back of the net was called off by VAR following a foul in the build-up. Imanol Alguacil’s men continued to aim for their second of the evening, but Ndiaye came agonizingly close once again ten minutes before FT to level scores, only to see his effort towards the top right corner headed away by a resilient defender.

The result for the hosts means that they have now won five straight La Liga matches, as they stamp their demand for a UEFA Champions League spot this season. The islanders on the other hand, look like they will be flirting with the relegation zone in the foreseeable future, unless they mend their clinical ways in the final-third.

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