All you need to know about Real Sociedad’s historic Champions League campaign

In a Champions League season in which four LALIGA EA SPORTS teams topped their groups for the first time in history, Real Sociedad demonstrated that Imanol Alguacil’s hard work has paid dividends. The Basque side finished top of Group D, leading last year’s runners-up Inter on goal difference. Real Sociedad remained unbeaten throughout the group stage, securing three wins and three draws in six duels. Click this link to start gaming and stand a chance of winning big with a meridianbet.

A memorable group stage for La Real

Real Sociedad’s return to the Champions League for the first time in a decade coincided with a glamour tie, as Inter visited the Reale Arena. That game got off to an excellent start as Brais Méndez opened the scoring, but Real Sociedad then missed a few chances to put the game to bed and Lautaro Martínez punished them with a late goal in a game that ended in a 1-1 draw.

Despite feeling like they’d dropped two points, La Real bounced back. They traveled to Austria to face RB Salzburg in early October and turned in a convincing performance, with Mikel Oyarzabal and Méndez netting one each as Real Sociedad emerged with a 2-0 win. What followed was two games against Benfica, with Méndez getting his name on the scoresheet again to lead a superior Real Sociedad to a 1-0 win in Portugal before the Txuri-Urdin hosted Benfica in November and grabbed a huge 3-1 victory courtesy of first-half goals from Mikel Merino, Oyarzabal and Ander Barrenetxea.

By this point, Real Sociedad had already booked their ticket to the Round of 16. But they wanted to finish as group winners. La Real outshot RB Salzburg by 21 shots to four at home in the penultimate round of the group stage but lacked a finishing touch, with the game ending in a 0-0 stalemate. Another goalless draw, this time away at Inter, then saw Real Sociedad clinch top spot in their group for the first time in their history – and as the team with the fewest goals conceded (2), to boot. It was a special moment.

“I don’t think we are aware of what we are doing, of what this team is achieving,” Imanol Alguacil said after the game in Italy. “Surely in a few years, we will appreciate it more clearly. Making history in a stadium like this and against a great rival like Inter, progressing to the Round of 16, and topping the group, it’s incredible.”

PSG in the Round of 16

The 2023/24 Champions League Round of 16 draw took place on Monday, December 18th, when Real Sociedad fans found out that their team would take on Paris Saint-Germain. The first leg will take place at the Parc des Princes on February 14th, with the return being played at the Reale Arena on March 5th as the LALIGA EA SPORTS side earned the right to have the second leg at home.

Following the draw, Imanol Alguacil didn’t hesitate to say that Real Sociedad’s objective is none other than reaching the Champions League final. “I’ll be honest with you,” he noted. “I found out [about the draw] when we were coming back from training, and I am satisfied and excited because to reach the final you have to face the best. When we reached the Copa del Rey final, we had to face Real Madrid on the way. If you want to reach the final, you have to play against the best, and in the Champions League, there are a few of them. There are very few bad teams.”

Competing for a European spot in LALIGA EA SPORTS

Having finished seventh, fifth, sixth, and fourth, respectively, in Imanol Alguacil’s four full seasons in charge of the team, Real Sociedad have demonstrated that they have made significant progress under the Basque coach over the last few years.

So far this season, the Txuri-Urdin have picked up 32 points from their first 19 games in LALIGA EA SPORTS. Currently sitting sixth in the table, they are six points behind fourth-placed Athletic Club and within striking distance of a top-four spot come the end of the season. Their objective is to clinch European qualification for a fifth season in a row and Imanol Alguacil’s presence in the dugout provides fans with the confidence that the team will manage to achieve their goal for yet another campaign.

MG Team

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