In another tale of two halves, it ended in defeat in San Sebastián. Real Sociedad dominated the first forty-five, taking an early 2-0 lead. However, we had the better of the chances after the break, halving the deficit on the hour mark but it wasn't enough to rescue a point. To rub salt in the wounds, towards the end of the game, Badé had to leave the field with an injury and both Sergio Ramos and Jesús Navas were shown straight red cards.
En-Nesyri's goal on the hour mark got us back into the contest but ultimately proved in vein
Sadiq's stunner was a damaging blow to our hopes of a result on the road and, now enjoying a two-goal cushion, the hosts began to dominate possession and control the flow of the game. In an effort to regain a foothold, Alonso turned to his bench with Óliver replacing Soumaré for the second half. This tactical shift brought notable improvement and the goal arrived. Pedrosa floated in a cross from the left flank and En-Nesyri's header deflected off Le Normand past the wrong-footed Remiro in the away goal. This boosted our confidence and we enjoyed our best spell of the match with first Lukebakio and then En-Nesyri going close to levelling the scores, the latter smashing against the woodwork when well placed in the box. However, an injury to Badé halted our momentum and the game became stretched.
In the closing stages, Sergio Ramos then was booked twice in quick succession before having it upgraded to a straight red card following a VAR review. In the aftermath, Navas was then also shown a direct red for protesting as we finished the game with nine men. Diego Alonso introduced Gattoni and Rafa Mir from the bench as eight minutes were added on, although two players down it proved a bridge too far as we suffered our first league defeat under Alonso. Next, we look ahead to Wednesday at the visit of PSV where we must win to keep alive our hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League.