First Division - Day 7

Real Sociedad 2 - Racing Santander 1

Real Sociedad: Westerveld; López Rekarte, Jauregi, Schürrer, Aranzábal; Xabi Alonso, Boris; Karpin, Nihat, Gabilondo (De Pedro 65'); Kovacevic. 4-2-3-1.
Racing: Ceballos; Pineda, Moratón, Juanma, Sietes (Neru 62'); Ismael, Nafti (Messias 77'); Pablo Sierra, Munitis, Regueiro (Bodipo 84'); Javi Guerrero. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Real: No change / Racing: No change.

0-1. 23. Javi Guerrero. Headed down into net from Pablo Sierra cross.
1-1. 73. Kovacevic. Controlled De Pedro through ball and shot past keeper.
2-1. 92. De Pedro (penalty). After Nihat brought down from behind by Neru.

Real Sociedad moved three points clear at the top of the table after a last gasp win over Racing Santander. The visitors proved once again that they are difficult side to beat, having recorded consecutive victories over Deportivo and Real Madrid, and they defended ferociously as The Basque side came forward early on. A quick break away though by Regueiro down the left wing brought the Real defenders chasing back, and although the first effort was blocked, Pablo Sierra swung the ball over for Javi Guerrero to head down past Westerveld into the net.

That was the only score in the first half, and the San Sebastian side came out after the break even more determined. They were met though by a superb Ceballos, who stopped everything they could throw at him for almost half an hour. Denoueix eventually turned to World Cup star Javier De Pedro, who had been displaced from the starting line up by Gabilondo after suffering an injury, and within minutes he was able to work his magic, finding Kovacevic with a precision pass for him to turn and score wide of the keeper off the post.

Kovacevic should have put his side in front soon afterwards, but was closed down quickly by Moratón before he could get off a shot. Ceballos made an excellent save from Nihat, and the clock seemed to be running down for the home side. But in injury time Nihat wriggled past his marker and advanced into the area. Neru lunged to bring him down from behind, but it only earned him a red card and a penalty. De Pedro stepped up to roll the ball wide of Ceballos to give the San Sebastian based side their best ever start in the history of the club. Racing had been so close, and at one point in the game when they were winning they were even in the Champions League spots. In the end though it was back down to tenth, but on this form they will surprise a lot of top teams. Barcelona next week?