Real hang on to beat Sociedad
Gonzalo Higuain's tenth goal of the season guided Real Madrid to a narrow 1-0 victory at Real Sociedad as they went to the top of La Liga.
Higuain scored in the ninth minute as Real threatened to run riot, with the hosts indebted to goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. Real Sociedad came back after half-time and piled on the pressure, but could not make their approach pay as Jose Mourinho's side claimed top spot, one place ahead of Barcelona after their rampant win over Real Mallorca.
Higuain gave Real an early lead. Fabio Coentrao slotted a low pass through to the Argentinian, who timed his run to perfection to beat the offside trap, running on to the ball to lift it over the keeper who had gone to ground.
It was all Real, with Iker Casillas virtually redundant in the visitors' goal in contrast to his opposite number. Cristiano Ronaldo unleashed a fierce 30-yard shot which curled and dipped with Claudio Bravo expecting it to bounce, but he was forced to go down and parry.
Angel Di Maria burst through and curled a left-footed shot which was goalbound, with the keeper showing good reflexes to get down and save. Di Maria again came close before Higuain was released and ran between two defenders only to fire straight at the onrushing keeper.
Real Sociedad came back after the interval, however, and forced Casillas into making his first save of the match after an hour when Carlos Vela pounced on sloppy defending before shooting, which the goalkeeper managed to beat out. Antoine Griezmann fired in a left-footed shot which Casillas pushed out low to his left for a corner.
Higuain spurned the chance to double the lead when, rather than shooting when unmarked on the right of the area, he attempted to pass across the area to Ronaldo but managed only to put the ball behind the Portuguese.
Sergio Ramos then missed in front of goal from Coentrao's cross, but it was Real Sociedad who were pressuring more. However, they were unable to find an answer and Real held on for victory.