Takefusa Kubo’s star performance not enough against Real Madrid

Japan attacker Takefusa Kubo put in a stellar performance against his former club Real Madrid, but Real Sociedad suffered a 2-1 defeat, and its first loss of the new Spanish La Liga season, on Sunday.

Kubo, who was sold to Sociedad by the star-studded side in the summer of 2022, was heavily involved in the fifth-minute opener when his incisive ball into the box from the right found Ander Barrenetxea, whose initial shot was saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga before the forward bundled home the rebound.

The 22-year-old Kubo stunned the Santiago Bernabeu crowd six minutes later when he cut inside and buried a fierce effort into the far bottom corner from outside the box, only to see the goal ruled out for taking a slight deflection off teammate Mikel Oyarzabal’s back when he was in an offside position.

Kubo had another powerful effort stopped before Mikel Merino had a close-range header saved off a cross from the Japanese as the visitors led at the break.

Federico Valverde drilled home the equalizer off the post a minute into the second half before Joselu headed home the winner on the hour mark.

Real Madrid made it five wins from five to stay atop of the table, while Real Sociedad is 11th having started with three draws and a win.

In France, new summer signing Keito Nakamura registered an assist as Reims lost 2-1 away to Brest. The winger’s flicked header from a free kick set up Amir Richardson to volley home the 19th-minute opener, but second-half goals from Mahdi Camara and Pierre Lees-Melou turned the game around.

Defender Daiki Hashioka and midfielder Ryotaro Ito both scored their first goal in the Belgian top flight as Sint-Truiden beat Mechelen 2-0 at home.


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