Soccer-Real Madrid frustrated in goalless draw against Real Sociedad

Soccer Football - LaLiga - Real Madrid v Real Sociedad - Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - January 29, 2023 Real Sociedad's Takefusa Kubo in action with Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior REUTERS/Isabel Infantes

MADRID (Reuters) -Battling Real Sociedad survived a pounding at Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday when they held Real Madrid to a goalless draw in a frantic LaLiga match.

Real Madrid recorded 20 goal attempts compared to only seven created by the visitors who held their turf heroically to go home to San Sebastian with a point thanks to a string of saves by goalkeeper Alex Remiro.

Vinicius Jr wasted two chances from close range, one in each half, with Remiro denying both. The keeper also made critical stops of efforts by Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Rodrygo.

"I'm happy with the point earned and with my personal effort," Remiro told Movistar Plus.

"Playing against these teams, they usually don't forgive you but we also missed the chances we had, we were not effective in front of the goal. But happy with the draw."

Leaders Barcelona moved to 47 points in the standings after their 1-0 win at Girona on Saturday and are now five points ahead of second-placed Real Madrid. Real Sociedad are third on 39 points, having played one more game than the top two.

Desperate to close the gap with Barca, Real Madrid stormed after Real Sociedad from the beginning, roared on by their fans on a chilly evening in the Spanish capital.

Benzema had Real's first chance in the seventh minute when he made a brilliant individual play, dribbling past three defenders, but saw his close-range shot stopped by Remiro.

Soon afterward, Vinicius beat defender Igor Zubeldia to run into the box but his right-footed effort went just wide.

Remiro palmed away a Kroos long-range shot midway through the first half and Federico Valverde misfired a promising volley from just inside the box.

Rodrygo fashioned a shot from the edge of the box in the 35th minute and, once again, Remiro was there to make another stunning save.

Just before halftime, Benzema passed to Vinicius whose low shot was blocked by Remiro with his left leg.

The LaLiga holders had almost 70% of possession in the second half but Real Sociedad created a few chances with counter-attacks.

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made a brilliant save in the 60th minute from a low strike by Takefusa Kubo.

Vinicius had a final chance to break the deadlock but Remiro palmed away a one-on-one chip-shot by the Brazilian in the 70th minute.

"It was a very entertaining match for the spectators, very intense," Madrid defender Nacho told Movistar Plus.

"We had the clearest chances but we didn't score. It's a shame about the draw, we wanted to win."

(Reporting by Fernando Kallas; editing by Clare Fallon)

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