Benzema, Sneijder lead Madrid past Sociedad 2-0
Second-half goals from Karim Benzema and Wesley Sneijder led Real Madrid to a 2-0 preseason win over Real Sociedad on Saturday in Xabi Alonso's first match against his former club.sports Updated: Aug 16, 2009 17:44 IST
Second-half goals from Karim Benzema and Wesley Sneijder led Real Madrid to a 2-0 preseason win over Real Sociedad on Saturday in Xabi Alonso's first match against his former club.
France striker Benzema was alone in front of goal in the 49th minute to redirect the rebound from Cristiano Ronaldo's free kick under Claudio Bravo after the Sociedad goalkeeper had failed to hold on to the shot.
Late substitute Sneijder sealed it after curling a free kick around the defensive wall and past the outstretched Bravo in the first minute of injury time.
Although Madrid was stronger in a match celebrating Sociedad's centenary, the Spanish powerhouse still failed to show cohesiveness after spending euro254 million ($365 million) this summer to sign the likes of Ronaldo, Benzema, Kaka and Alonso.
"We just need more minutes to really feel like a collective," Alonso said.
It was the first trip back to Anoeta Stadium for Alonso, who came up through Sociedad's academy, since his move to Liverpool in 2004. "I'm very happy, the people welcomed me really nicely and it was an important day for the club," Alonso said.
Neither team impressed to start, with Kaka leading Madrid's attack in the first half.
The Brazil playmaker slashed a low shot just wide of the far post in the 24th and then watched as Bravo got down to keep another low try from outside the area getting past at the other post six minutes later.
Daniel Agirrezabalaga had Sociedad's best opportunity on the counterattack but headed a clear chance wide with only Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas in his way.
Ronaldo redirected Raul Albiol's hard centering pass past Bravo but just wide of the near post in the 34th, and the Portugal winger made no other impact before his substitution in the 68th. Kaka and Raul Gonzalez were also substituted then, with Arjen Robben immediately testing Bravo with a hard shot on his first touch after coming on.
Bravo was busy until the final whistle and denied Benzema's brace by stopping his angled drive in the 82nd.