David Moyes’ Real Sociedad side ended their long wait for an away win in Spanish La Liga as they triumphed 1-0 at Getafe. Sociedad were the only La Liga side without a win on the road this season going into Monday’s clash at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, but they finally got that monkey off their backs courtesy of Inigo Martinez’s second-half header. The Sociedad academy product rose highest to nod home Esteban Granero’s accurate free-kick off a post in the 66th minute, although Getafe keeper Vicente Guaita will be disappointed at not being able to stop it.
Victory takes Sociedad up to tenth, level on 33 points with ninth-placed Espanyol, while Getafe remain 13th. Moyes’ side, who like Getafe came into this game on the back of two wins and a defeat in their last three matches, saw plenty of ball early on but did little with it. The hosts looked sluggish during the opening exchanges, but they had a penalty appeal turned down in the ninth minute.
Pedro Leon cut into the box and just as he looked to get it out of his feet and pull the trigger he was stopped in his tracks by a bumbling challenge from Sociedad centre-back Martinez. Referee Melero Lopez waved away the appeals, but the incident sparked Getafe into life and Quique Flores’ side should have taken the lead when Alvaro Vazquez beat three defenders and then disappointingly toe-poked straight at Sociedad’s grateful keeper Geronimo Rulli.
Leon came within inches of opening the scoring after 20 minutes when he exquisitely curled onto the bar from the corner of the box. Rulli was beaten all ends up as the ambitious shot sailed over his head and he – as well as everyone else – no doubt expected it to miss the target comfortably, but a deceptive dip saw it drop down sharply and clip the frame of the goal.
Sociedad press for winner
Imanol Agirretxe had a few headed chances as Sociedad began to show more in the final third, but Leon went close with a wicked shot from distance before Diego Castro was bravely thwarted by Rulli in a goalmouth scramble as it remained 0-0 at the interval. Sergio Canales starred as Sociedad upped the tempo in the second half, first rounding three defenders and then forcing a good save out of Guaita, before desperate defending blocked his goal-bound shot from hitting an empty net in the 57th minute.
Martinez made the pressure count by leaping highest to head Granero’s pinpoint free-kick in with the help of a post as Guaita got close to clawing it away after it bounced off his right upright, but fell just short of getting a good enough contact. With Getafe frustrations boiling over after the goal, Juan Rodriguez protested too loudly when his penalty appeal for a challenge by Martinez and Granero was rejected and he was duly booked by Lopez.
The hosts frantically probed for an equaliser late on, with Mehdi Lacen again forcing Rulli into another good save with six minutes remaining, but Sociedad held out to finally get a reward on their travels.