Witness the complete replay and highlights of the exhilarating encounter between Real Sociedad and Benfica. This titanic clash is part of the esteemed UEFA Champions League 2023/2024, Group D – Matchday 4. The action kicks off at 17:45 GMT on Wednesday, November 8, 2023. The esteemed referee for this epic showdown is none other than Anthony Taylor from England. The electrifying venue for this defining moment is none other than the iconic Reale Arena in Donostia-San Sebastián. Experience the thrill and intensity of this pulsating match in all its glory.
Real Sociedad vs Benfica Full Match Reports
The thrilling encounter between Real Sociedad and Benfica unfolded at a frenetic pace, with Real Sociedad dominating the first half and securing a well-deserved 3-1 victory in the UEFA Champions League (UCL). This triumph places Real Sociedad in a prime position to extend their streak of European knockout football for a fourth consecutive season.
Real Sociedad wasted no time asserting their dominance, capitalizing on the visitors’ vulnerable state. Just six minutes into the match, Aihen Muñoz’s seemingly wayward volley was cleverly redirected by Mikel Merino at the back post, finding the net and granting Real Sociedad an early lead. The hosts continued to press their advantage, and soon after, Mikel Oyarzabal intercepted a loose pass from Florentino Luís, sprinted past the defense, and calmly finished to double Real Sociedad’s lead in just 11 minutes.
The punishment for Benfica wasn’t over yet, as Merino found the back of the net once again, albeit being disallowed by VAR due to a handball. Undeterred, Real Sociedad relentlessly pushed forward, and on the 21st minute, Ander Barrenetxea showcased his skills with a powerful strike from inside the box, widening the gap to 3-0 and igniting the home crowd’s jubilation.
Moments later, Real Sociedad had a golden opportunity to extend their lead further when Nicolás Otamendi committed a foul on Oyarzabal, resulting in a penalty. However, Brais Méndez’s penalty struck the post and allowed Benfica a glimmer of hope. In the second half, Benfica quickly responded, with Otamendi exhibiting his composure by setting up Rafa Silva for Benfica’s first goal of the group stage.
Unfortunately, Benfica’s revival was thwarted by several stoppages due to flares thrown by away fans, hindering their momentum. Real Sociedad managed to maintain control and hold on to their lead, securing the victory. With this win, Real Sociedad now sits atop the group, and their qualification to the knockout stages will be guaranteed if Inter Milan defeats RB Salzburg in their upcoming match. On the other hand, Benfica remains at the bottom of the group with no points and only a spot in the Europa League to vie for following four consecutive defeats in the UCL.
For his exceptional performance throughout the match, Mikel Oyarzabal was deservedly named the Man of the Match, leaving a resounding impact on Real Sociedad’s triumphant evening.