First Division - Day 4

Real Sociedad 3 - Zaragoza 0

Real Sociedad: Westerveld; López Rekarte, Schürrer, Jauregi, Aranzábal; Xabi Alonso (Alkiza 80'), Aranburu; Lee Chun Soo, Nihat, Gabilondo (Karpin 73'); Kovacevic (De Paula 76'). 4-2-3-1.
Zaragoza: Valbuena; Rebosio, Milito, Alvaro, Toledo; Jesús (Iban Espadas 81'), Ponzio; Galletti (Cani 66'), Soriano (Corona 66'), Savio; David Villa. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Real: Jauregi, Xabi Alonso, Lee Chun Soo, Nihat for Kvarme, Alkiza, Karpin, De Paula / Zaragoza: Valbuena, Jesús for Lainez, Cani.

1-0. 55. Nihat. Stooped to head Gabilondo cross from left into net from close up.
2-0. 82. De Paula. Powerful header into top corner from Karpin's free kick.
3-0. 86. De Paula. Ran on to short pass from Lee Chun Soo to fire ball into net.

Nihat returned to the Real Sociedad side to inspire a 3-0 win over Zaragoza which takes them up into the top four. The Turkish forward returned after an injury which has kept him out all season, and was a nightmare for the visiting defence right from the first minute. Early in the first half he fired a shot just over the bar, and later in the half his free kick was only just blocked by Valbuena (standing in for Lainez who was suffering from gastroenteritis), Schürrer hitting the post on the rebound.

It was not until after the break that the goals came though, and inevitably it was Nihat who started and finished the first, diving low to head home Gabilondo's cross. Denoueix brought on Karpin and De Paula with a quarter of an hour to go and the two combined to score a second, the Basque striker getting on the end of the Russian's centre to head past the keeper.

And four minutes later De Paula scored again, his third of the season, after Lee Chun Soo set him up. Following on from their midweek win in the Champions League, Real seem to be back on track. It is no coincidence though that it comes with Nihat back in the fold.