Villarreal Narrow Real Sociedad’s Lead at the Top

LaLiga leaders Real Sociedad’s six-game winning streak ended on Sunday as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Villarreal.

The visitors took an early lead as Gerard Moreno converted a penalty after six minutes but Sociedad pulled level when Mikel Oyarzabal also netted from the spot in the 33rd.

Villarreal looked more likely to find a winner in the latter stages and had another penalty appeal turned down deep in stoppage time when Moreno was tackled by Igor Zubeldia.

Sociedad are top with 24 points after 11 games but second-placed Atletico Madrid are one point behind with two games in hand. Villarreal are third with 20 ahead of Real Madrid on 17.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid slumped to a 2-1 loss at home to Alaves in LaLiga on Saturday as city rivals Atletico moved level with leaders Real Sociedad after extending their winning run to six matches.

Lucas Perez scored a fifth-minute penalty at Alfredo di Stefano stadium and Joselu added a second just after half-time following an awful mistake by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Casemiro gave Real a lifeline on 86 minutes but Alaves held on for a victory that lifted them up to ninth. Madrid remain in fourth place and six points behind Real Sociedad and Diego Simeone’s Atletico.

After a minute’s silence in honour of Diego Maradona, in keeping with the poignant tributes around Spain this weekend following the death of the Argentine legend, Real soon fell behind when Nacho handled at a corner.

Perez powered the spot-kick beyond Courtois to give Alaves the lead, and the forward should have struck a second when he was played clean through, his attempted chip superbly swatted aside by the Real ‘keeper.

Madrid’s night went from bad to worse when Eden Hazard was forced off on 28 minutes after taking a knock, the latest in a long list of injury setbacks for the Belgium star.

While a terrific double save by Fernando Pacheco denied Toni Kroos, a howler from Courtois presented Joselu with the second goal on 49 minutes when a wayward pass went straight to the forward who steered home from 30 yards.

Mariano Diaz’s header was cleared off the line before Casemiro tapped in from close range after Pacheco kept out Vinicius Junior’s effort, but Alaves clung on as Isco clipped the bar with the final kick.

Earlier in the day, Atletico edged a tight contest at Valencia 1-0 that stretched their unbeaten league run to 25 matches.

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