Real Sociedad travelled to the El Sadar stadium on Friday to take on eighth-placed Osasuna, eventually coming out on top with a 2-0 win. Los Rojillos needed to defeat the fourth-placed La Liga side in order to at least climb to 7th position with 47 points (for three days before Athletic Bilbao plays) but were eventually beaten two goals to nil by the away side.
Erreala recorded their thirteenth clean sheet in La Liga this season, their 21st in all competitions as an own goal from Sergio Herrera and a late strike from Takefusa Kubo helped Imanol Alguacil"s men move within five points(58) of third-placed Atletico Madrid, albeit with the latter having a game in hand.
Sociedad took the early lead with seven minutes off the clock when Herrera gave the ball away courtesy of a wrong clearance. Momo Cho latched onto it, drifting through Osasuna"s defence before driving a pass to David Silva. The Spaniard played Barrenetxea on the flank and the latter tried to tee up Carlos Fernandez for an opportunity which went directly through Herrera"s legs making contact on its way into the net.Momo Cho had the chance to double his team"s lead in the 37th minute when Mikel Merino played him through, the forward"s grass-hugging curler unable to beat the hands of Herrera before Barrenetxea tried to rebound and the hosts made an hasty clearance.
Real Sociedad came so close to scoring in the second half, hitting the woodwork twice. Mikel Oyarzabal received the ball in the middle from Alexander Sorloth"s pass on the right flank. The Spaniard tried to get it past Herrera in a one-on-one situation but the contact the goalkeeper made with it made it bounce off the post as the hosts were let off. Four minutes later, with the ball out on the left flank, Mikel Oyarzabal squared to Sorloth who tried to get a shot away past the goalkeeper but struck the post agonizingly.
Takefusa Kubo put a shot wide in the 82nd minute and got a solo opportunity into the arms of the goalkeeper before netting the second and final goal of the night. Sorloth held up play few metres from the box before opening up for Mikel Merino. The Spaniard found Takefusa Kubo to his right and the Japanese picked his spot before firing with the left foot beneath the arms of Sergio Herrera to give his side the 2-0 victory on the night.
The result sees Erreala move eight points clear of fifth-place Villarreal who host Celta Vigo on Sunday evening. Sociedad have a couple of difficult fixtures ahead of them this season and must grind out meaningful results if they are to return to playing Champions League football next season for the first time since 2013/14. They get to face Real Madrid(May 2), Barcelona(May 21), Atletico Madrid (May 28) and Sevilla(June 4) in four of their remaining six La Liga fixtures which would ultimately decide their fate as either Champions League or Europa League bound.
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