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Sports Real Madrid starts title defence with draw at Real Sociedad

01:26  21 september  2020
01:26  21 september  2020 Source:   msn.com

Zero signings but Real Madrid can win La Liga simply by not being Barcelona

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Real Madrid has opened its Spanish league title defense with a lackluster 0-0 draw at Real Sociedad . MADRID (AP) — It wasn’t the best of starts for defending champion Real Madrid , which needed a good performance by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to salvage a 0-0 draw at Real Sociedad

Real Madrid dropped points at Real Sociedad as they kicked off their LaLiga title defence with a goalless draw at the Anoeta Stadium. Following the departure of Gareth Bale to Tottenham on loan, Zidane would have hoped for his side to get off to a winning start , but they were unable to capitalise

a football player on a field © Provided by The Canadian Press

MADRID — Real Madrid opened its Spanish league title defence with a lacklustre 0-0 draw at Real Sociedad on Sunday.

With a squad mostly unchanged from last season, Madrid looked out of rhythm and couldn't get more than a point at the Basque Country's Reale Arena. Zinedine Zidane's team struggled in attack and needed a good performance by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to salvage the draw.

Madrid had won 10 of its last 11 league matches last season to clinch its first title in three years. It is trying to lift back-to-back league trophies for the first time since 2007-08.

Unchanged Real Madrid begins title defence in Spanish league

  Unchanged Real Madrid begins title defence in Spanish league MADRID — Real Madrid is keeping most of the same players to try to win back-to-back Spanish leagues for the first time in more than a decade. Madrid begins its title defence on Sunday at Real Sociedad with practically the same squad that a few months ago lifted its first league trophy in three years. It hasn’t won consecutive leagues since 2007-08 as Barcelona has dominated domestically. The Catalan rival won eight leagues since Madrid’s last double, including three in a row from 2009-11. Barcelona won two in a row in 2015-16 and 2018-19. Madrid’s other titles in the last decade came in 2012 and 2017.

Real Madrid began the defence of their Spanish title with a tepid 0-0 draw at Real Sociedad on Sunday as Martin Odegaard made his first league start for the reigning champions against his former club. Madrid are heading into the La Liga season after making no new signings this summer

David Silva made his Real Sociedad debut as Real Madrid started their La Liga title defence with a goalless draw at the Anoeta. Martin Odegaard was handed a place in Zinedine Zidane’s starting lineup having been recalled early from a two-year loan spell at Sociedad , with Silva on the bench

Madrid only opened this weekend because its first-round match against Getafe was postponed as it played later into last season after reaching the round of 16 of the Champions League. Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, which made it to the Champions League quarterfinals, had their first two games postponed and won’t start until next weekend in the third round. It's the same for Sevilla, which won the Europa League.

Madrid had only one preparation match before its opener, against Getafe last week. Sociedad had started its league campaign with a 1-1 draw at Valladolid.

Madrid started its title defence with a similar squad that won the league title for the 34th time, with the only new starter being playmaker Martin Odegaard, who had been on loan with Sociedad until last season. He was a surprise starter in place of defensive midfielder Casemiro, a regular for Zidane along with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric in the midfield.

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Real Madrid 's Raphael Varane fights for the ball against Real Sociedad 's Portu during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Sociedad and Real Madrid at the MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid opened its Spanish league title defense with a lackluster 0-0 draw at Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Real Madrid were held to a 0-0 draw by Real Sociedad as they began their defence of La Liga title with a stumble, but in Italy Juventus started with a win under Andrea Pirlo.

Young Brazilians Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo flanked Karim Benzema in the attack, with Eden Hazard, who is not fully fit yet, sitting out.

Gareth Bale and James Rodríguez left for the Premier League but they hadn’t been playing much under Zidane.

Madrid had its trip to the Basque Country city of San Sebastián delayed after a problem with an airplane.

PELLEGRINI WINS AGAIN

Manuel Pellegrini continues to impress in his coaching return to the Spanish league, leading Real Betis 2-0 over Valladolid for a second straight victory to start the season. Betis had opened with a late win over Alavés in the Chilean coach’s official debut with Betis last weekend.

Pellegrini, a former Real Madrid and Manchester City manager, returned to the Spanish league after stints in China and with West Ham in England.

Nabil Fekir opened the scoring by converting a penalty kick in the 10th minute and William Carvalho sealed the victory in the 18th.

GRANADA ON TOP

Granada also won its second in a row, beating winless Alavés 2-1 at home with goals by Roberto Soldado in the seventh minute and Darwin Machís in the 79th.

The club from southern Spain had defeated Athletic Bilbao in its opener, and was coming off a 4-0 win over Albania's Teuta in Europa League qualifying.

CÁDIZ PREVAILS

In a match between promoted clubs, Cádiz won 2-0 at Huesca with goals by Álvaro Negredo in the 11th and Jorge Pombo in the 83rd.

Second-division champion Huesca had opened with a surprise draw at Villarreal, while Cádiz was coming off a home loss to Osasuna.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni

Tales Azzoni, The Associated Press

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