Former Newcastle and Stoke striker Joselu emerged as an unexpected hero, soaring at the far post to head home Fran Garcia’s cross in the 60th minute.
Jude Bellingham, who had previously scored five times in his first four games for his new club, saw his remarkable goal-scoring streak come to a halt. Bellingham’s best opportunity materialized during stoppage time when he rose to meet Brahim Diaz’s cross, only for Alex Ramiro to pull off an exceptional save.
Nevertheless, the Englishman played a pivotal role in Real Madrid’s comeback after they suffered the shock of conceding in the fifth minute. On-loan Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga couldn’t prevent Ander Barrenetxea’s second attempt from finding the net after initially parrying the first shot.
Sociedad had maintained an unbeaten record of 46 league matches when leading at halftime, but once Federico Valverde equalized with a powerful shot from outside the area just a minute after the second half began, it became an uphill battle to preserve that streak. The visitors had opportunities to extend their lead in an open contest, with Barrenetxea firing over the bar after Kepa had deflected another rebound straight to him and then watching as the Spain international made a full-length save to deny another attempt.
Once Real Madrid took the lead, they appeared determined to hold onto it. The outcome ensures Real Madrid’s two-point lead over arch-rivals Barcelona at the top of the table as they prepare to kick off their pursuit of a 15th Champions League title against German challengers Union Berlin on Wednesday.
Real Sociedad, experiencing their first defeat of the season, will also be in action on Wednesday when they host last season’s runners-up, Inter Milan.