MADRID (AFP) – La Liga champions Atletico Madrid remain four points behind leaders Real Madrid as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at managerless Real Sociedad after being reduced to 10 men.
Sociedad are expected to announce the appointment of former Manchester United manager David Moyes in the coming days and on this performance there was plenty to encourage the Scot after Mario Mandzukic had fired Atletico into an early lead from Raul Garcia’s fine low cross.
Carlos Vela curled home a wonderful equaliser five minutes later and the Mexican was then extremely unfortunate to see a yellow card for diving when he appeared to have been felled by Diego Godin inside the area.
Godin showed the athleticism and awareness that has made him one of the best centre-backs in world football to prevent Sociedad going in front just before the break as he raced back to clear off the line after Imanol Agirretxe had latched onto Miranda’s awful backpass and rounded Miguel Angel Moya.
Atletico’s task became much tougher just four minutes into the second period when Guilherme Siqueira was shown two quickfire bookings to leave the visitors with just 10 men.
Vela had another penalty appeal waved away when he clashed with Mandzukic inside the area and the Croatian international could have restored Atletico’s lead at the other end when he turned Cristian Ansaldi’s low cross just wide.
However, Diego Simeone’s men were struggling to retain possession for any period of time and were finally punished eight minutes from time when Imanol Aggirretxe powered a header home at the near post to hand Sociedad just their second victory of the season.
There was also disappointment for Valencia and Sevilla on Sunday as they were held at home by Athletic Bilbao and Levante respectively.
A point moves Valencia up to third, three points behind Madrid, whilst Sevilla remain fifth but are now level on points with Atletico.