David Moyes enjoyed a dream home debut in charge of Real Sociedad as a Carlos Vela hat-trick downed Elche 3-0 at Anoeta. The Mexican international headed the Basques in front with less than three minutes gone and then doubled the lead after half an hour, later clinching the match ball early in the second half.
Even though Elche began the game in the relegation zone, Moyes will be feeling pleased with his side after recording their biggest win of the season to move onto 13 points from as many games. A close-to-capacity crowd turned out to see Moyes’ home bow and things could hardly have got off to a better start for the Scot. Carlos Martinez and Sergio Canales exchanged passes down the right hand side and the former picked out Vela in the area before he sent a crashing header into the net.
Canales could have added another goal midway through the first half as La Real broke but the former Real Madrid man dragged his shot wide of goal. However, a second goal arrived shortly afterwards. Xabi Prieto lofted the ball over the top to catch Elche’s defenders out of position, allowing Vela to race through the middle and slot into the bottom corner.
Although there were plenty of encouraging signs for Moyes, there were some nervy moments too. Adrian Gonzalez broke from his marker from a corner but headed wide; Jonathas de Jesus found space near the area but could not get enough power on his shot to trouble Enaut Zubikarai, while the goalkeeper then had to punch clear a venomous but central shot from Damian Suarez.
Elche could have found a way back into the game early in the second half when Adrian found himself free in the area for the second time of the night, but once again missed the target. Although not dominant, La Real continued to cause damage on the break. Vela had a shot saved at the near post and then the the 25-year-old played in Alberto de La Bella on the left hand side of the box but the shot was saved.
The next time Vela went forward, he was in no mood for passing – the former Arsenal man was played in on the right hand side of the area by Martinez and took one touch before drilling the ball across goal and in off the post to complete his treble.
Moyes will hope Vela’s dramatic turnaround in form is a sign of the early impact the Scot has had on the team – the striker had only managed two goals in nine starts before tonight but was given a standing ovation when substituted towards the end.
Moyes still has plenty of work to do to resurrect his reputation after a nine-month spell at Manchester United, but with four points after two games in charge of Real Sociedad, he has gotten off to a fine start.