Real Sociedad got their 2021/22 Europa League campaign underway this evening when they travelled to the Netherlands to take on PSV. The Basque side performed well in the competition last season only to take a hiding off Manchester United, so will be hoping to go deeper this campaign and maybe even emulate Villarreal and Sevilla, who won the previous two editions.
Mikel Oyarzabal started and captained La Real, undoubtedly their marquee player. The man from Eibar represented La Roja at both Euro 2020 and the Olympic Games this summer. Other pivotal figures selected by Imanol Alguacil included intelligent midfielder Mikel Merino and Alexander Isak, one of the most interesting young forwards in the European game. David Silva brought experience and big-game nous to the side.
La Real sit fourth in La Liga heading into the game, having taken nine points from their first four matches. They’re a point behind Atletico Madrid, Valencia and Real Madrid. PSV are top of the Eredivisie; they’re two points clear of second-placed Ajax with a maximum 12 points from their opening four games.
It was the hosts that took the lead through playmaker Mario Gotze in the 31st minute, pouncing on a loose ball after a teammate’s shot had been parried. La Real, however, responded superbly. They hit back immediately, Adnan Januzaj converting after a smart centre from the right side.