First Division - Day 9

Real Sociedad 1 - Deportivo La Coruña 1

Real Sociedad: Westerveld; López Rekarte, Jauregi, Schürrer, Aranzábal; Xabi Alonso, Boris (Aranburu 65');Karpin, Nihat, De Pedro (Gabilondo 80'); Kovacevic (Khokhlov 85'). 4-2-3-1.
Deportivo: Juanmi; Scaloni, César (Héctor 35'), Naybet (Capdevila 18'), Romero; Sergio, Mauro Silva; Víctor, Fran, Luque (Duscher 75'); Makaay. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Real: Kovacevic for Khokhlov / Deportivo: Luque for Capdevila.

1-0. 28. Kovacevic. Far post header down past keeper after cross in from Karpin.
1-1. 42. Luque. Shot into empty net after Makaay laid ball across.

Real Sociedad maintained their three point lead at the top of the table despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Deportivo La Coruña. The San Sebastian side are facing a big test this month, with games against three of the Champions League sides, and they started reasonably well, holding on to their record as the only unbeaten side in the league.

They did get off to a shaky start, with Westerveld spilling a long shot from Sergio and the defence scrambling the ball clear. They settled down after that though, and Nihat could have scored twice, the first a shot on the turn which Juanmi got down to, and the second a breakaway where the Turkish forward blasted the ball over the bar with only the keeper to beat.

It didn't take long though before the home side took the lead. Kovacevic returned to the starting line up after missing the last match through injury, and he got on the end of Karpin's long cross to power a header down past Juanmi. He was helped though by the fact that Naybet had already gone off with an injury, and Depor's other centre half César also limped off soon afterwards, Irureta being forced to bring on full backs Capdevila and Héctor with all his other central defenders injured.

The visitors were dangerous on the counterattack though, with Luque getting a run out on the left wing after a good performance in the cup midweek, and the Spanish international levelled the scores shortly before half time, finishing off after Makaay controlled a Fran pass and laid the ball across. He appeared to set off from an offside position though, and referee Medina Cantalejo was booed off the field after waving away the appeals.

The second half followed a similar pattern, with the Gallicians sitting back but creating problems for the locals on the counterattack. Makaay brought a good save out of Westerveld and Sergio shot just wide, and at the other end Nihat went close with a long shot. In the final minutes Makaay broke through again, but his shot from wide out bounced back off the post. It would have been probably been unfair though, and a point apiece seemed a just reward for both teams.