Real Madrid continued their pursuit of Spanish title rivals Atletico Madrid and Barcelona with a comfortable win at sixth-placed Real Sociedad.

Without the injured Cristiano Ronaldo, Los Blancos led through ex-Sociedad midfielder Asier Illarramendi's tap-in.

Gareth Bale doubled their lead with a spectacular long-range strike after an error by home keeper Claudio Bravo.

A clinical volley from Pepe, and Alvaro Morata's precise finish, gave the score a convincing look.

No home comfort for Sociedad

Real Madrid's victory was only the third home defeat suffered by Real Sociedad since November 2012.

Atletico Madrid won 2-1 in San Sebastian in September, while Rayo Vallecano earned a 3-2 victory last month.

Third-placed Real are three points behind leaders Atletico, who are one ahead of Barcelona with six games left.

Carlo Ancelotti's side knew their title ambitions could hinge on the visit to Sociedad after watching both Atletico and Barcelona earn narrow wins earlier on Saturday.

And, after a flat first-half display, they showed their quality after the break to earn a deserved victory.

Sixth-placed Real Sociedad outclassed defending champions Barcelona in a 3-1 win in February and were attempting to ruin the title challenge of another illustrious rival.

The Basque club started at a ferocious pace as they looked to exploit any sluggishness from a Real side that had been in midweek Champions League action.

But, despite plenty of neat approach play, they only had fleeting sights of the Madrid goal.

Visiting goalkeeper Diego Lopez produced a wonderful reaction save to deny the already-offside Carlos Vela before France Under-21 forward Antoine Griezmann headed over the ex-Arsenal striker's cross.

Real Madrid defender Pepe

Real Madrid defender Pepe headed in his fourth La Liga goal of the season

Portugal skipper Ronaldo missed out with a knee injury and, in his absence, Real offered little attacking threat until defensive midfielder Illarramendi put them ahead.

France striker Karim Benzema cut inside from the left and hit a fierce low drive that Sociedad keeper Bravo could only push into the path of his former team-mate.

And the late first-half goal changed the complexion of the match as a different Madrid side reappeared after the break.

Ramos headed against the crossbar before Benzema hit the same part of the woodwork with a vicious left-foot strike.

But the second goal was down to a defensive mistake rather than slick attacking play. Bravo's miscue went straight to Wales forward Bale, who superbly guided the ball back into an empty net from 25 yards.

Madrid gave the scoreline a convincing look as Pepe swept in Ramos's downward header before Morata kept his cool after latching on to a incisive throughball from Angel Di Maria.

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (6)

Real Sociedad

  • 01 Bravo
  • 02 Martínez
  • 20 José Ángel (Ansotegi - 18' )
  • 04 Elustondo
  • 03 González Booked (Rubén Pardo - 74' )
  • 06 Iñigo Martínez Booked
  • 17 Zurutuza (Agirretxe - 63' )
  • 05 Bergara Booked
  • 11 Vela
  • 07 Griezmann
  • 16 Canales

Substitutes

  • 08 Seferovic
  • 09 Agirretxe
  • 13 Zubikarai
  • 14 Rubén Pardo
  • 15 Ansotegi
  • 18 Castro
  • 23 Javi Ros

Real Madrid

  • 25 López
  • 15 Carvajal Booked
  • 18 Nacho
  • 14 Alonso Booked (Casemiro - 88' )
  • 03 Pepe
  • 04 Ramos
  • 24 Illarramendi Booked
  • 19 Modric
  • 09 Benzema
  • 11 Bale (Morata - 86' )
  • 23 Isco (Di María - 81' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Casillas
  • 02 Varane
  • 05 Fábio Coentrão
  • 16 Casemiro
  • 21 Morata
  • 22 Di María
  • 39 Da Silva
Ref: Alejandro José Hernández Hernández
Att: 30,016

Match Stats

Shots

13 21

On target

4 7

Corners

7 8

Fouls

13 10

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Real Sociedad 0, Real Madrid 4.

90:00 +2:56 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Real Sociedad 0, Real Madrid 4.

90:00 +2:01

Attempt saved. Ángel Di María (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Karim Benzema.

90:00 +1:20

Hand ball by Sergio Canales (Real Sociedad).

90:00 +0:03 Booking

Booking Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

89:55

Hand ball by Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid).

87:50 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Real Sociedad 0, Real Madrid 4. Álvaro Morata (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ángel Di María with a through ball following a fast break.

87:01 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Madrid. Casemiro replaces Xabi Alonso.

86:28

Attempt missed. Luka Modric (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Karim Benzema.

85:02 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Madrid. Álvaro Morata replaces Gareth Bale.

84:10 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Real Sociedad 0, Real Madrid 3. Pepe (Real Madrid) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Sergio Ramos with a headed pass following a corner.

83:38

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Imanol Agirretxe.

82:25

Corner, Real Sociedad. Conceded by Diego López.

82:24

Attempt saved. Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Imanol Agirretxe.

81:56

Attempt blocked. Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

80:57 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Madrid. Ángel Di María replaces Isco.

78:28

Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

78:28

Foul by Rubén Pardo (Real Sociedad).

77:50

Corner, Real Sociedad. Conceded by Sergio Ramos.

75:54

Attempt blocked. Luka Modric (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Isco.

73:39 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Sociedad. Rubén Pardo replaces Mikel González.

72:33

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Mikel González.

71:30

Attempt blocked. Isco (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Daniel Carvajal.

70:41 Booking

Booking Markel Bergara (Real Sociedad) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

70:33

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

70:33

Foul by Markel Bergara (Real Sociedad).

69:25

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:25

Foul by Imanol Agirretxe (Real Sociedad).

68:59

Attempt missed. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Asier Illarramendi.

67:31

Attempt saved. Gorka Elustondo (Real Sociedad) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

65:57 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Real Sociedad 0, Real Madrid 2. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner.

64:56

Attempt blocked. Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Antoine Griezmann.

64:14

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) hits the bar with a left footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Xabi Alonso.

62:04 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Sociedad. Imanol Agirretxe replaces David Zurutuza.

61:31

Attempt missed. Sergio Canales (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Antoine Griezmann with a headed pass.

60:46

Attempt missed. Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid) right footed shot from long range on the left is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

60:37

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

59:30

Delay in match Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) because of an injury.

59:06

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.

59:06

Foul by Markel Bergara (Real Sociedad).

56:28

Attempt saved. Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

55:32 Booking

Booking Iñigo Martínez (Real Sociedad) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

55:24

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

55:24

Foul by Iñigo Martínez (Real Sociedad).

54:46

Attempt blocked. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Karim Benzema.

52:59

Attempt missed. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Luka Modric with a cross following a corner.

52:27

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Markel Bergara.

52:25

Attempt blocked. Isco (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Luka Modric.

51:55

Foul by Karim Benzema (Real Madrid).

51:55

Markel Bergara (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

51:30

Attempt saved. Carlos Martínez (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

49:34 Booking

Booking Asier Illarramendi (Real Madrid) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

49:24

Foul by Asier Illarramendi (Real Madrid).

49:24

Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

48:08

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) hits the bar with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by Xabi Alonso with a cross following a set piece situation.

47:34 Booking

Booking Mikel González (Real Sociedad) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

47:21

Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.

47:21

Foul by Mikel González (Real Sociedad).

46:32

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

46:32

Foul by David Zurutuza (Real Sociedad).

45:00

Second Half begins Real Sociedad 0, Real Madrid 1.

45:00 +1:01 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Real Sociedad 0, Real Madrid 1.

44:07 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Real Sociedad 0, Real Madrid 1. Asier Illarramendi (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

44:06

Attempt saved. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Gareth Bale.

42:58

Corner, Real Sociedad. Conceded by Asier Illarramendi.

42:56

Attempt blocked. Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

42:08

Foul by Gareth Bale (Real Madrid).

42:08

Markel Bergara (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick on the right wing.

41:39

Corner, Real Sociedad. Conceded by Sergio Ramos.

41:10

Attempt saved. Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Gorka Elustondo.

39:05 Booking

Booking Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

38:57

Foul by Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid).

38:57

Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

38:28

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Carlos Martínez.

35:12

Offside, Real Madrid. Gareth Bale tries a through ball, but Karim Benzema is caught offside.

33:36

Offside, Real Madrid. Diego López tries a through ball, but Gareth Bale is caught offside.

33:06

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by David Zurutuza.

32:31

Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

32:31

Foul by Gorka Elustondo (Real Sociedad).

31:18

Foul by Nacho (Real Madrid).

31:18

David Zurutuza (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

30:07

Asier Illarramendi (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

30:07

Foul by Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad).

29:34

Corner, Real Sociedad. Conceded by Sergio Ramos.

28:47

Foul by Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid).

28:47

Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

27:36

Foul by Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid).

27:36

Gorka Elustondo (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

27:23

Attempt blocked. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

26:25

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

26:25

Foul by Markel Bergara (Real Sociedad).

25:55

Luka Modric (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

25:55

Foul by Markel Bergara (Real Sociedad).

24:11

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Carlos Martínez.

22:08

Offside, Real Madrid. Luka Modric tries a through ball, but Karim Benzema is caught offside.

21:35

Attempt missed. Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Carlos Vela with a cross.

20:39

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Mikel González.

18:15

Attempt blocked. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Isco.

17:30 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Sociedad. Ion Ansotegi replaces José Ángel because of an injury.

16:47

Attempt missed. Pepe (Real Madrid) right footed shot from long range on the right is too high. Assisted by Isco.

15:05

Offside, Real Sociedad. Antoine Griezmann tries a through ball, but Carlos Vela is caught offside.

15:04

Attempt missed. Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Sergio Canales with a cross following a corner.

14:38

Corner, Real Sociedad. Conceded by Pepe.

13:25

Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid).

13:25

José Ángel (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick on the left wing.

11:39

Offside, Real Madrid. Karim Benzema tries a through ball, but Isco is caught offside.

10:50

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Mikel González.

10:48

Attempt blocked. Isco (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Karim Benzema.

8:40

Attempt blocked. Gorka Elustondo (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by David Zurutuza with a cross.

8:01

Foul by Luka Modric (Real Madrid).

8:01

Markel Bergara (Real Sociedad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:19

Luka Modric (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:19

Foul by Gorka Elustondo (Real Sociedad).

3:18

Attempt blocked. Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

2:53

Corner, Real Sociedad. Conceded by Sergio Ramos.

2:51

Attempt blocked. Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by José Ángel.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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