Apr 30, 2016 at 3pm UK at ​Estadio Anoeta
Attendance: 26,426
Real Sociedad
Real Madrid

Illarramendi (36'), Bergara (42'), Prieto (48'), Zaldua (64')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Bale (80')
Bale (41'), Ramos (59'), Nacho (62'), Modric (75')

Live Commentary: Real Sociedad 0-1 Real Madrid - as it happened

Zinedine Zidane appears prior to the game between Real Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna on January 9, 2016
Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the La Liga clash between Real Sociedad and Real Madrid at the Anoeta.

Real Madrid travelled to Real Sociedad on Saturday afternoon knowing that a win would temporarily move them to the top of the La Liga table.

The visitors had 12 shots in an impressive first-half performance, but the two teams headed down the tunnel at 0-0.

Sociedad managed to hold out for 79 minutes in total, but Gareth Bale's header in the 80th minute moved Los Blancos to the top of the table with two games left.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

2.01pmAfternoon all! Sports Mole's live La Liga coverage continues from the Anoeta as Real Sociedad welcome Real Madrid. In truth, the home side do not have much to play for this afternoon, but the visitors know that three points would see them return to the top of the table – at least until tonight. The race for the title in Spain is just fascinating with three games left!

2.04pmTo suggest that the omens are not great for Sociedad here would be putting it kindly. The Basque outfit have actually only won one of their last 17 league games against Real Madrid and have lost four of the last five. Earlier this season, Real Madrid were 3-1 winners at the Bernabeu, but Sociedad did record a 4-2 victory over Los Blancos at the Anoeta at the start of last season.

2.07pmRight, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news from San Sebastian. Have Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo made it for the visitors? Who is in for Sociedad? Let's find out shall we...


SOCIEDAD: Rulli; Zaldua, Mikel, Yuri, Elustondo; Prieto, Bergara, Illarramendi; Oyarzabal, Bruma, Zurutuza

REAL: Navas; Danilo, Varane, Ramos, Nacho; Modric, James, Casemiro; Bale, Borja, Vasquez

2.13pmSo there we have it. Sociedad are without the services of Carlos Martinez and Imanol Agirretxe through injury, while Carlos Vela will miss the clash through suspension, leaving Eusebio short of options in the final third. Bruma has been seemingly selected through the middle, while David Zurutuza also keeps his spot in attack.

2.16pmAs for Real Madrid, Danilo, Raphael Varane, Nacho, James Rodriguez and Borja Mayoral have all been introduced to the XI. As expected, both Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema miss out, while the likes of Pepe, Marcelo and Dani Carvajal have all dropped to the bench. Lucas Vasquez keeps his spot in the final third alongside Gareth Bale.

2.19pmSo there we have it. The two teams are in and we are now just over 40 minutes from kickoff on this warm afternoon in the Basque country. I shall speak about Real Madrid a little bit later, but let's start with Sociedad, who ensured that they were mathematically safe from relegation to the Segunda with a 0-0 draw at Villarreal last weekend.

2.22pmIn truth, it has been a very inconsistent campaign for Sociedad, who have collected 42 points from their 35 games to date. They have recorded 11 wins, nine draws and 15 defeats, which is the exact same record as Eibar. They will play La Liga football next season, but European action is beyond them and that will have to go down as a disappointment for Eusebio Sacristan's side.

2.25pmThat said, Sociedad are only two points off eighth-place Valencia, which is an indication of the type of season that it has been in Spain's top flight. They picked up a good point at Villarreal last time out, but had entered that match off the back of successive defeats to Eibar and Getafe.

2.28pmThe Basque outfit did beat Barcelona 1-0 in this stadium earlier this month, however, and do seem to raise their performance levels against the bigger teams. They do not have to play for at this stage of the season, but they might well have a massive say in the title race after beating Barca and facing the possibility of upsetting Real Madrid this afternoon.

Real Sociedad players celebrate taking the advantage during the La Liga game between Real Sociedad and Barcelona on April 9, 2016© AFP

2.32pmSpeaking of Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane's side will enter this match off the back of a 0-0 draw at Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final during the week. They missed Ronaldo's presence in the final third and a half-fit Benzema had to be replaced at the break. The two teams will do it all again in Madrid next Wednesday to fight for the right to make the final.

2.35pmIn the league, however, Real Madrid have been almost unstoppable. They have won each of their last nine in Spain's top flight, which is their best run of form since Carlo Ancelotti secured 12 straight victories in 2014. What's more, Real Madrid have not lost any of their last nine league games away from home and have scored an average of 2.33 goals per match.

Karim Benzema celebrates scoring with Cristiano Ronaldo during the La Liga game between Real Madrid and Villarreal on April 20, 2016© AFP

2.38pmReal Madrid are still third in La Liga as things stand, but they are only one point off the leaders Barcelona, who are ahead of second-place Atletico Madrid on the head-to-head record. Victory for Real Madrid here would move them top, but Atletico host Rayo Vallecano later this afternoon and Barcelona travel to Real Betis in the late start, which I shall also be covering so look out for that!

2.42pmIn truth, Real Madrid will need to win each of their remaining three fixtures and hope that both Atletico and Barcelona slip up. All it would take is for both of those teams to draw one of their three matches and three wins for Real Madrid would secure the most unlikeliest of league titles, especially when considering the gap that they have closed over the last couple of months.

2.45pmZidane's team looked down and out after losing 1-0 at home to Atletico at the end of February, but they have won nine times since then, including a 3-2 victory over Rayo Vallecano last weekend despite being 2-0 down inside 14 minutes. They might well fall a little short, but success in the Champions League would be some replacement prize!

Zinedine Zidane watches on during the Champions League quarter-final between Real Madrid and Wolfsburg on April 12, 2016© Getty Images

2.48pmIn terms of what Real Madrid have to come in La Liga – Los Blancos will welcome Valencia to the Bernabeu next weekend, before travelling to Deportivo La Coruna on May 15. They would expect to pick up six points from those two matches, but their destiny is in the hands of Barcelona and Atletico this term.

2.52pmReal Madrid have incredibly hit 104 goals in their 35 league games this season, which is two more than Barcelona have managed. Zidane's side have the weakest defensive record of the top four teams, however, and that might well be an area that Zidane looks to strengthen this summer. All that can wait though as Real Madrid target a vital three points in this match!

2.55pmPREDICTION! I fancy Real Madrid to do enough this afternoon. The visitors are without a number of key players, but in my opinion, have more than enough quality in the final third to record all the points courtesy of a 2-0 success. I just cannot see where the goals are coming from in this Sociedad XI this afternoon.

2.58pmGareth Bale reacts to a Rayo goal during the La Liga game between Rayo Vallecano and Real Madrid on April 23, 2016© AFP

Just a final reminder of the two teams this afternoon...

SOCIEDAD: Rulli; Zaldua, Mikel, Yuri, Elustondo; Prieto, Bergara, Illarramendi; Oyarzabal, Bruma, Zurutuza

REAL: Navas; Danilo, Varane, Ramos, Nacho; Modric, James, Casemiro; Bale, Borja, Vasquez

0 minKICKOFF! Here we go then - both sets of players have joined us on the pitch for the first period. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Time for the football then! Real Madrid have to win to keep their title challenge alive. It is the visitors that kick things off here...

2 min... you just get the feeling that the first goal this afternoon - if there indeed is one - could be vital. Real Madrid fell 2-0 behind inside 14 minutes against Rayo last week and will be wary of what a poor start could mean in this one! Both teams are battling for control of the possession early on here.

4 minIt is a big game for Sociedad's 19-year-old winger Mikel Oyarzabal, who scored the winner against Barcelona in this stadium earlier this month. The teenager has looked bright and full of ideas inside the opening four minutes and Sociedad are the team quicker to the punch as things stand at the Anoeta.

6 minJust a reminder that Atletico will welcome Rayo Vallecano to the Calderon this evening, before Barcelona travel to Real Betis. Real Madrid need all the points to move to the top of the table and Bale has just placed a low effort wide of the Sociedad pass after a super pass from James. Should have done better there!

7 minSome very tasty challenges going in here as Illarramendi flies into Casemiro!

10 minSAVE! Possession football from Real Madrid as they pass and probe in the Sociedad half. James shows super feet to collect a ball from Nacho and attempt to feed Bale, but Mikel Gonzalez is on hand to challenge. Nacho eventually feeds James again, but the Colombian's low strike is kept out by Rulli!

12 minThe heavens have just opened here! A downpour has drenched the players, but Real Madrid continue to threaten as Ramos heads a Modric corner just wide of the far post. One-way traffic at the moment here.

14 minSociedad just need a sustained period of possession as Real Madrid continue to dominate this game.

16 minJames seems keen to prove a point this afternoon and the Real Madrid attacker has been very dangerous in the opening 16 minutes of this match. The Colombian wins another corner the visitors keep the pressure on. The set-piece is met by Bale, but his effort drops just wide of the post!

17 minA super flick from Vasquez finds James in a dangerous position inside the Sociedad box, but the attacker's effort was always moving wide of the far post. Sociedad are just not in the game.

19 minMayoral continues to make smart runs for the away side, but the teenager has been caught offside on a couple of occasions as Sociedad maintain their high line. Still goalless with 19 on the clock here.

22 minThis is a nice game for Real Madrid. Sociedad are not pressing too high and the home side are struggling to find the isolated Bruma in the final third. If this pattern continues, I would be surprised if Real Madrid did not go on to win quite comfortably. Vasquez and James are both bright in wide positions.

22 minSuper feet from Casemiro, but his low strike was always wide of the post.

23 minCHANCE! Bale heads a James cross just wide of the post!

25 minBetter from the home side as Prieto manages to break down the right, but Ramos comes across to challenge the Spaniard and the ball is behind for a corner. No attacking threat from Sociedad thus far though!

27 minJames continues to deliver dangerous crosses into the home side's box, but Sociedad are starting to show a threat of their own as Bruma finds pockets of space in the final third. Still goalless at the Anoeta.

28 minCHANCE! Mayoral sets up James with a fine pass, but the attacker fires straight at Rulli!

30 minSociedad are causing Real Madrid problems when they have the chance to deliver from a wide area, but Ramos has been excellent at the back thus far. More of an open game with 30 minutes on the clock.

33 minLittle over 10 minutes of the first period left to play and Sociedad have managed to survive a difficult opening 33 minutes on home soil. Real Madrid have a dangerous free kick as Bergara fells Vasquez...

33 min... James tries the short free kick and Mikel is on hand to head clear. Waste.

35 minZurutuza almost has the chance to break through the middle for the home side, but the ball hits Varane and Ramos is back on the cover to clear the danger. Real Madrid have been the better team for long spells of this match, but Sociedad are always in the game at 0-0 and will continue to grow in confidence.

36 minBOOKING! Illarramendi (Sociedad) is booked for pulling Modric to the ground.

38 minThis is the type of game where a certain Cristiano Ronaldo would pop up for Real Madrid, but Los Blancos will have to rely on the likes of Bale and James to produce something special. Sociedad have still not had a proper chance in this first period, but they are threatening with crosses from wide areas.

40 minDanilo, instead of sliding a pass into James, decides to have a go from distance and the ball strikes Yuri, who can turn and clear the danger. Still goalless with 40 minutes on the clock at the Anoeta.

41 minBOOKING! Bale (Real Madrid) is booked for a high challenge on Elustondo. It was actually a great chance for the visitors after Nacho had broken into the box, but Bergara cleared off the line!

42 minBOOKING! Bergara (Sociedad) is booked for a late challenge on Bale.

44 minHalf-chance for the home side, but Zaldua fires a long-range strike wide of Navas's post.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Sociedad 0-0 Real Madrid

3.48pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with the two teams level at 0-0. Real Madrid have had the better of the action, but have thus far been unable to find a route past Rulli. Sociedad, on the other hand, have largely struggled to find that telling pass in the final third here.

3.53pmSTATS! Real Madrid have shaded the possession with 59%, while they have had 12 attempts - two of which have been on target. Sociedad, meanwhile, hit the target with two of their five first-half attempts. In terms of bookings - Illarramendi and Bergara have been carded for Sociedad, while Bale has one for Real.

3.58pmBENCH WATCH! Sociedad have the likes of Granero, Litri and Pardo on their bench this afternoon, but they are really struggling for options in the final third due to their current injury problems. Real Madrid boss Zidane, meanwhile, has options in the shape of Isco, Jese Rodriguez, Marcelo and Mateo Kovacic.

46 minGareth Bale has a rest during the La Liga game between Real Sociedad and Real Madrid on April 30, 2016© AFP

RESTART! Here we go then - both sets of players re-join us on the pitch for the second period. Will we have a breakthrough at the Anoeta? Let's find out! It is the home side that resume the action here...

48 min... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period gathers pace at the Anoeta.

50 minHalf-chance for the away side as Danilo breaks down the right before attempting to lift a cross towards Bale, but Mikel is on hand to make the clearance. The resulting corner is delivered by Modric and Bale misses the target once again. Surely one of these half-chances are going to go in for Los Blancos!

50 minBOOKING! Prieto (Sociedad) is booked for a high challenge on Ramos.

52 minDecent pressure from Sociedad in the last couple of minutes and Navas has to claw away a corner from Bruma during a spell of pressure from the home team. Still goalless with 52 minutes on the clock here.

54 minYou just get the feeling that one goal would be enough to win this match, but Real Madrid are struggling to make use of their chances at the moment. Bale has just been chopped down by Zaldua in a wide position.

56 minJust a reminder that second-place Atletico will host Rayo after this match, before leaders Barcelona travel to Real Betis in the late start tonight. Real Madrid simply cannot afford to drop two points here if they are to remain in the title race with two games left. Zurutuza has just had one deflected wide of the post after a bright run from midfield. End-to-end football in the last few minutes here.

59 minSAVE! Oh my word! Sensational chance for the away side to take the lead as Bale finds himself unmarked inside the Sociedad box and just has to beat Rulli, but the Welshman smashes it straight at the stopper!

59 minBOOKING! Ramos (Real Madrid) is booked for a high challenge on Prieto.

61 minBale still cannot believe that he missed that chance and neither can I! The whole bench were up and thought that the Welshman was going to make the breakthrough! We are still all square at the Anoeta.

63 minBOOKING! Nacho (Real Madrid) is booked for pulling Prieto to the deck.

64 minBOOKING! Zaldua (Sociedad) is booked for a poor challenge on Nacho.

66 minREAL MADRID SUB! Jese Rodriguez replaces Mayoral for the away team.

68 minStill more than 20 minutes of football remaining and I would be surprised if Real Madrid did not continue to create chances as Sociedad tire in defensive areas. This one is far from over at the Anoeta.

68 minSOCIEDAD SUB! Reyes replace Bergara for the home side.

70 minSociedad are really struggling to get out of their own half at the moment as Real Madrid continue to deliver the ball from wide areas. That said, the home side have pace to threaten on the counter-attack.

73 minBruma strikes one from distance, but Navas is down to make the save and the Real Madrid goalkeeper wastes no time in finding Nacho, who drives down the left. Still goalless with 73 minutes on the clock.

73 minREAL MADRID SUB! Isco replaces James Rodriguez for the away side.

75 minSAVE! Rulli keeps out a strike from Jese from inside the Sociedad box!

76 minBOOKING! Modric (Real Madrid) is booked for a late challenge on Bruma.

77 minSOCIEDAD SUB! Jon replaces Bruma for the home side here.

79 minSAVE! Rulli turns a low Jese effort wide of the post as the pressure continues. Sociedad just cannot get out of their own half at the moment as the onslaught continues from the visitors!

80 minGOAL! Sociedad 0-1 Real Madrid (Bale)

81 minBreakthrough! Real Madrid take the lead in the 80th minute as Bale heads a Vasquez cross past Rulli. It is a wonderful climb from the Welshman and that is a massive goal in this title race!

83 minLittle over five minutes of normal time remaining and Sociedad are the team pressing forward here.

85 minREAL MADRID SUB! Kovacic replaces Modric for the away side here.

87 minSOCIEDAD SUB! Litri replaces Yuri in Sociedad's final change.

89 minSuper work from Casemiro as the Brazilian wins a free kick from Zurutuza in the middle of the park.

90 min+1Sociedad are still pressing forward and Litri wins a corner from Danilo after smart work down the left, but Mikel can only head the resulting set piece over the crossbar. Not long left at the Anoeta!

90 min+2We are into the second minute of added time and Real Madrid continue to defend their lines!

90 min+3SAVE! Navas gets down to keep out a header from Illarramendi!

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Sociedad 0-1 Real Madrid

4.51pmSo there we have it! Bale wins it for Real Madrid, who have moved to the top of the La Liga table ahead of second-place Barcelona and now third-place Atletico Madrid. This fascinating race continues into the final two matches! Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action. Until next time!

Gareth Bale reacts to a Rayo goal during the La Liga game between Rayo Vallecano and Real Madrid on April 23, 2016
Read Next:
Bale pleased with "disciplined performance"
2Real Madrid382864110347690
3Atletico MadridAtletico38284663184588
5Athletic Bilbao381881258451362
6Celta Vigo38179125159-860
9Real Sociedad38139164548-348
10Real Betis381112153452-1845
11Las PalmasLas Palmas38128184553-844
15Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo38818124561-1642
17Sporting GijonSporting Gijon38109194062-2239
RRayo Vallecano38911185273-2138