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Brais Mendez on target as Real Sociedad see off Villarreal


Brais Mendez's composed finish in the 33rd minute was enough for Real Sociedad to earn their fifth win of their LaLiga campaign with a 1-0 triumph over Villarreal in San Sebastian.

Imanol Alguacil’s men were completely dominant in the first half, holding over 70% possession whilst depriving Villarreal of a single shot on goal.

The hosts’ high press created plenty of opportunities as they looked to test a nervous-looking Geronimo Rulli. The goalkeeper struggled with his distribution and presented a huge chance to Brais Mendez, but the Argentinian redeemed himself with a fine save.

Shortly after the half-hour mark, though, there was nothing Rulli could do to prevent the Yellow Submarine from sinking and conceding. Mikel Merino’s floated cross to the back post picked out an isolated Mendez who produced a glorious finish, slotting through the goalkeeper’s legs.

Unai Emery’s men could hardly have performed as badly after the interval as they did before it, and half-time substitution Jose Luis Morales was inches away from equalising with his first action, dribbling into the box before firing just wide.

As the visitors opened up, however, there were chances for Sociedad on the break with the technical wizardry of David Silva coming in handy. He fed Alexander Sorloth on one breakaway, but the Norwegian squandered two huge chances to double the lead.

Attacking threats from Villarreal were few and far between, meaning the hosts were able to see out the game with relative comfort.

The visitors are now winless in their last four league games, dropping away from the top four race as a result.

Sociedad’s first home clean sheet of the season earned them a well-deserved victory that bucked the trend of away success in this matchup, becoming the first home side to win since 2018.

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