First Division - Day 17

Real Sociedad 1 - Valladolid 3

Real Sociedad: Alberto; López Rekarte, Schürrer, Jauregi, Aranzábal; Xabi Alonso (De Paula 75'), Aranburu; Karpin, Nihat, De Pedro (Gabilondo 75'); Kovacevic. 4-2-3-1.
Valladolid: Bizzarri; Torres Gómez, Jonathan, Julio César, Marcos; Caminero (Zapata 61'), Ricchetti; Fernando Sales (Peña 79'), Sousa, Oscar González (Losada 73'); Makukula. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Real: Jauregi, Aranburu, De Pedro, Nihat for Kvarme, Boris, Gabilondo, De Paula / Valladolid: Torres Gómez, Ricchetti for Jesús, Zapata.

1-0. 05. Nihat. Connected with López Rekarte cross to head into top corner.
1-1. 29. Makukula. Scrambled ball in after Caminero headed on free kick.
1-2. 72. Oscar González. First time shot past Alberto from Fernando Sales cross.
1-3. 85. Losada. Cut in from right wing past Aranzábal to fire shot past keeper.

Real Sociedad sank further down into the drop zone after they were beaten 1-3 by Valladolid, their ninth league game and their thirteenth in all competitions since a win. Even the return of Nihat and De Pedro to the side could not halt their slide, and although manager Reynald Denoueix has renewed his contract for another year recently, his side will have to start picking up points in the new year if they he is to see it through.

Things did appeared to be picking up at first when Nihat connected with López Rekarte's cross to head past Bizzarri in the fifth minute. But Makukula had already given a sign of the threat he posed when Rekarte had to clear off the line from him early on, and after Alberto kept out another header from the Portuguese under 21 international, he finally got the goal he deserved when he held off Schürrer's challenge to force the ball past the keeper whilst lying on the ground after Caminero headed on a Torres Gómez free kick.

Nihat brought a good save out of Bizzarri before the break, but Real were once again not showing the type of form they had last season and Sousa had a goal disallowed for a borderline offside after the restart. And with a quarter of an hour to go Valladolid struck the killer blow on a rapid counter-attack, Oscar González beating Alberto with a first timer shot from Fernando Sales's cross with the defence nowhere to be seen.

Substitute Losada finished things off near the end with an individualist goal, rounding Arazábal to fire a powerful shot wide of Alberto, and Real ended with ten men after Aranzábal was sent off in injury time for a foul on the final goalscorer. All in all a disaster for the home side, and they must be thankful for the two week break to try and restore some confidence.

The visitors ended the day safely back up in the top half of the table, and even though they will be missing four players in their next match after they all picked up fifth yellow cards of the season, they will be able to relax this Christmas with the job well done.