• 0-2 at RB Arena Narration and statistics
  • Group D Results and classification

Winning with solvency away from home is never an easy task in the Champions League, especially when the three points are placed in hopes for the future. Real Sociedad did it in Salzburg, with goals from Mikel Oyarzabal and Brais Méndez, after a game in which he again offered his fine stroke, but where strength of spirit was also required. Today, 11 months after that historic triumph at Old Trafford, Imanol's team begins to manage Europe with some composure. And that can be worth a ticket for eighths. [Narration and statistics (0-2)]

The emergence of Aihen Muñoz in the place of the injured Kieran Tierney did not mean any disorder in the continuity line of Imanol Alguacil, with an eleven already very profiled at the dawn of autumn. At the moment, despite the enormous physical demand of his approach, the technician has found a way and will not move a finger from the board. With this level of ambition, almost identical to the one offered two weeks ago against Inter, La Real was presented at the RB Arena. And in five minutes, as against the Italians, their fantastic football was rewarded on the scoreboard.

Away victory against the most vulnerable opponent in the group was inescapable. And the recovery, physical and mental, of Oyarzabal after a delicate knee injury, even more. From that position of the false nine, the international came from a league double against Athletic, although he needed to show himself in Europe. As his first shot tripped over Schlager's shoulder he still had to fine-tune the left-footed for the 0-1, in collaboration with Brais Mendez.

Brais' left-hander

There were plenty of reasons to show the visitor's superiority, with a fast and expressive, precise and fulminant game. Held on Zubimendi, with Mikel Merino and Brais flying over on a combat mission, La Real simply embroidered football against an overwhelmed opponent. The long balls towards Konaté, on the left flank, were suffocated by Igor Zubeldia. Under this primary scheme, Salzburg could offer little else, without a job to stop what was coming. Not even the early yellow to Le Normand made a dent in the Real, which doubled its advantage after a prodigious counterattack, started a few meters from Remiro and finished with the left-footed Brais.

In that comfortable habitat, barely disturbed by an ugly kick from Solet to Kubo, the game was managed until the break. Barrenetxea liked it, the five hundred Basque fans chanted and the victory seemed a fact. However, the situation changed with a couple of changes of Salzburg, which in the absence of other virtues, at least opposed pride and attitude. In the 50th minute, after an appearance by Simic, Remiro's takedown was punished as a penalty, but the VAR made the Polish referee reconsider.

Oyarzabal celebrates the 0-1 against Gourna-Douath.AP

Salzburg grew so much that Imanol, chastened by the draw in the debut, wanted to cool the boiler with the fresh air of Cho and Carlos Fernández in his first line of pressure. You had to swallow because the body language of the Austrians was really frightening. And his tackles at grass level, even more. It is true that Remiro should not have been used thoroughly, although the Real could well thank that Frankowski overlooked three hand actions in the area, distributed between Pacheco, Merino and Zubeldia.

Every cross ball, every second play, tested the mettle of the centre-backs. Deprived of the ball, with no option of counterattack, the Donostiarras suffered as anyone suffers at home in the Champions League. Among other reasons because its second unit does not reach, for now, the excellence of the most common. However, nothing can be objected to the way in which he managed to throw the blind to the party. The last play, with the fists of Remiro and a string of clearances in the fifth minute of the aggregate, was the most forceful example of realistic concentration.

  • football
  • Royal Society