Real Sociedad took a significant step towards securing a place in next season’s Champions League by defeating Almeria 1-0 in their La Liga match on Tuesday. Imanol Alguacil’s team, currently in fourth place, now have an eight-point advantage over fifth-place Villarreal, who will take on Cadiz on Wednesday.
Almeria’s Luis Suarez was shown a red card in the 36th minute for a rough tackle on Robin Le Normand, leaving his team with 10 players. Thereafter, their drop in morale was evident as they were under constant pressure by Sociedad’s attack. Talented Japanese winger Takefusa Kubo showcased his excellent form by scoring brilliantly in first half stoppage time. He skillfully cut inside from the right and curled the ball into the top left corner of the net.
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Real Sociedad had opportunities to increase their lead, with Alexander Sorloth narrowly missing a chance to double their advantage, and Ander Barrenetxea’s shot smashing the post.
Real Sociedad last took part in the prestigious European competition during the 2013-2014 season. They can now qualify for the Champions League if Villarreal fail to win any of their remaining three matches or if Sociedad themselves are able to earn two more points. Almeria’s defeat places them in 15th position, just four points above the relegation zone.
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Meanwhile, Celta Vigo, in 14th place, were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Girona and currently have a five-point lead over the relegation zone.