Feb 17, 2013 at 11am UK at ​Estadio Anoeta
Real Sociedad
1-1
Levante
Vela (18' pen.)
Castro Irizabal (28'), Pardo (86')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Michel (29' pen.)
Karabelas (18'), Michel (37'), Iborra de la Fuente (45'), Valdo (86'), Diop (90')
Karabelas (57')

Live Commentary: Real Sociedad 1-1 Levante - as it happened

Estadio Anoeta
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of Sunday's La Liga clash at the Estadio Municipal de Anoeta as Real Sociedad and Levante share the points in a 1-1 draw.

Real Sociedad and Levante clashed at the Estadio Municipal de Anoeta on Sunday with both teams harbouring hopes of securing European football this season.

It was Sociedad that took the lead after 18 minutes when Carlos Vela converted from the spot. However, Levante had a penalty of their own after 29 minutes, with Michel following suit.

Both sides had chances in the second period, but neither could find a winner as the points were shared in a 1-1 draw.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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10.31amMorning all! Thanks for joining me on your Sunday morning as the La Liga action continues with Real Sociedad against Levante. Both sides are harbouring hopes of finishing in the European picture, but Sociedad certainly enter the match in the better form. Due to the proximity of the teams from fourth to ninth, however, a couple of wins can change the picture entirely.

10.34amAs mentioned, Levante have dominated the recent meetings. They have won each of their last three matches against Sociedad, scoring eight times in the process. Sociedad did pick up a 1-1 draw at this stadium in March 2011, but that is their only point in the last five games between the two sides. They will be keen to put that record straight in this match.

10.37amSociedad are one of the in-form sides in La Liga having won three and drawn two of their last five matches. They were 2-1 winners on the road last time out against Real Zaragoza, before which they had beaten Real Mallorca 3-0 on their home patch. A win against Levante today would firmly put them in the European picture as the season continues to gather pace.

10.40amThey have been strong on their own patch this season with seven wins from their 12 matches, losing just twice in the process. Their away form has hardly been disastrous, taking 12 points from 11 matches, but their success in recent weeks has been built on home comforts. They are also the only team to beat Barcelona this season.

10.43amLevante, meanwhile, have struggled in recent weeks. They have won just one of their last five matches in the league, with their most recent defeat coming at home to Malaga last time out. It is testament to their form in the early stages of the season that they currently sit in ninth position in the table, just six points off a Champions League position.

10.46amTheir form away from home has not been too impressive this season with three wins from their 12 matches, taking 11 points in the process. That is in contrast to their home form, where they have won seven of their 11 games. They really need to rediscover their form from the early stages of the season if they are to have a chance of securing a place in Europe.

10.49amTEAMS:

SOCIEDAD: Bravo; Mikel, De La Bella, C Martinez, I Martinez; Castro, Prieto, Illarra, Bergara; Griezmann, Vela

LEVANTE: Navas; Lell, Karabelas, Vyntra, Ballesteros; Diop, Valdo, Iborra, Rios; Michel, Martins


10.52amSo there we have it. Sociedad continue with Carlos Vela and Antoine Griezmann in attack, while the impressive Inigo Martinez will form part of a all-Spanish defence. Levante are pretty much as expected, but Barkero drops out of the team in place of Michel, who will provide support to the lone striker Obafemi Martins.

10.55amIn terms of the numbers, Sociedad enter the match with a better defensive record having conceded 29 goals in their 23 matches thus far. That is in contrast to Levante, who have conceded 25 in the same period. Down the other end, Sociedad have the fourth-highest goals scored record with 37 strikes, while Levante have found the back of the net 29 times.

10.58amBoth sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of kickoff. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Just about time for my pre-match prediction. Sociedad have been in really good form of late and I am backing them to pick up all three points with a 2-0 win. Be sure to remain with us for the entirety.

0 minHere we go then. Today's referee is Alejandro Hernandez. Let's hope that we can keep all 22 players on the pitch following a series influx of red cards in La Liga this season. Any handball being a mandatory yellow card has caused problems, but that is a story for another day. The home side get the action underway.

2 minNot a full house inside the stadium this early afternoon, but there is a good atmosphere with Sociedad impressing in recent weeks. It must also be said that the pitch looks in wonderful condition for this stage of the season. Strong start from the home side as Xabi Prieto drives down the right, but his low cross is cleared by Lell.

4 minThe home side have certainly taken control of the early stages of possession inside the opening four minutes with Prieto, Bergara and Castro enjoying plenty of the ball in midfield. Meanwhile, with Vela and Griezmann in attack, they have willing runners. Not too much from Levante thus far.

6 minAgain it's good work from the home side as Illarra picks up possession before finding Vela down the right, the Mexican whips a dangerous cross into the box, but Navas comes a long way to punch clear. Levante attempt to break down the other end with Martins, but the Nigerian just cannot collect under pressure from two defenders. Lively start to proceedings in this match.

8 minSlightly sloppy period to the match in the last few moments with both sides guilty of poor passing. Sociedad continue to force the issue with possession in wide areas, but Levante do look capable of causing a problem on the break. Again Vela is involved for the home side as he drives a low cross into the box, but Vyntra is on hand to clear the danger.

10 minLevante have just started to offer a threat with a series of high balls into the penalty area, but Michel has been ruled offside twice in quick succession. Short, snappy passing allows Rios the chance to have a strike from outside the box, but he can only fire his effort straight into the arms of Bravo. Extremely even contest with 10 minutes on the clock.

12 minThe linesman's flag has played a key role in this match thus far as Michel is once more ruled offside for the away side. Sociedad immediately advance down the other end with Griezmann, but the Frenchman just cannot find a way into the penalty area. Both sides are enjoying spells of attacking pressure as this half begins to gather pace.

14 minStill no real chances to report inside the opening 14 minutes, but that is not a reflection on the intensity of this match. Levante have been poor in recent weeks, but they are starting to look like the side that impressed in the early stages of the season. Martins is a willing runner once more behind the Sociedad defence, but De La Bella is across to clear.

16 minHalf-chance for the away side to cause a problem from a free kick outside the penalty area, it is played short by Iborra before Valdo whips the ball into the box, but the referee blows for a foul on the Sociedad goalkeeper. Again Levante launch an attack with Martins finding Michel, but Inigo Martinez is across to quell the threat.

17 minAnother half-chance comes for the away side as Valdo collects possession outside the penalty area before striking an effort towards goal, but it never had enough power to really trouble Bravo. Sociedad advance down the other end with Prieto, but his cross is too long for Vela. End-to-end football with 17 minutes on the clock.

17 minAgain Levante threaten as Rios finds the run of Martins behind the Sociedad defence, but the Nigerian's touch is just too heavy and Bravo is out to claim. The look on Martins's face says it all, that was a big chance to open the scoring.

17 minPENALTY! The home side are awarded a penalty as Vela is felled in the box by Karabelas, who picks up a yellow card for his troubles. For me, it was soft. But Sociedad now have the chance to open the scoring.

18 minGOAL! Real Sociedad 1-0 Levante (Vela)

19 minSociedad do indeed take the lead as Vela steps up before sliding his penalty into the opposite corner from Navas. Just about as cool as you will ever see. Levante will not have been happy with the award of that spot kick. It was soft.

21 minFrustration for Levante since conceding the opening goal as Martins is ruled offside before penalised for handball within the space of 30 seconds. You just get the feeling that the away side need to steady themselves before the interval. Another goal for the home side at this stage would be disastrous.

23 minIn fairness to the away side, they have responded since falling behind. Martins remains the main outfit with his pace and power, but the Sociedad line has been tight thus far. The crowd have certainly been lifted by that opening goal and suddenly the home side really have their tails up.

25 minHalf-chance for the home side to add their second as Mikel fires a dangerous cross into the penalty area, it falls to Castro who strikes an effort towards the top corner, but Navas is across to make a fine save. The resulting set piece also causes problems, but Carlos Martinez can only slice over the crossbar.

27 minFairly stop-start period to the match in the last couple of minutes with the referee called into action to make a number of decisions. The tempo remains, however, as both sides commit numbers to each attack. It is hard to imagine that we have seen the last of the goals this afternoon.

29 minDecent spell of pressure from the away side as Martins combines with Michel before striking towards goal, but it deflects behind for a corner. The resulting set piece causes problems in the Sociedad box, but eventually Bravo comes a long way to clear before the home side launch a counter attack down the other end.

29 minPENALTY! The away side are awarded a penalty of their own as Castro is adjudged to have felled Lell inside the box. Again, it was quite soft, but I guess that levels things up. The resulting spot kick will be taken by Michel.

29 minGOAL! Real Sociedad 1-1 Levante (Michel)

30 minMichael does indeed find the back of the net to score his third league goal of the season. A quick word on the quality of penalties in La Liga. It must be the highest conversion rate in Europe. They just do not miss from the spot.

32 minThere is sometimes a worry that the early start in Spain can be a drab affair, but that has not been the case in this match. Wonderful entertainment inside the opening 32 minutes with two goals, both from the spot. However, we still have all 22 players on the pitch. I can see that changing in the second period. Little under 15 minutes of the first period remaining.

34 minCHANCE! Wonderful opportunity for the home side to regain the lead as Vela meets a cross from Griezmann in the penalty area, but Navas is on hand to make a fine save. Another effort comes from the Mexican moments later, but once more the Levante goalkeeper is more than equal to the danger.

36 minReally is an end-to-end match in the latter stages of this half with both sides prepared to commit numbers to each attack. Levante come close with a searching cross from Martins, but the danger is cleared before Castro fires wide down the other end. No sign of either team labouring at the moment.

38 minThe tempo has just been interrupted somewhat with a host of fouls from both sides, but I suspect that it will be a welcome breather for both sets of players. There is no question that Levante have been much-improved in this match, but they are up against one of the in-form sides in the division. It is just so delicately poised.

40 minLittle over five minutes of the half remaining and the two sides sit level at 1-1, with both goals coming from the spot. Neither team is really in control, however, with both taking it in turns to exchange attacks. Vela is again involved for Sociedad as he drives into the box, but Lell just comes across to clear at the vital moment.

42 minThe home side want another penalty as Castro is floored in the penalty area by Lell, but the referee shakes his head. I have certainly seen them given with the German defender wrapping his arms around the Sociedad midfielder. That is more of a penalty than either that were awarded.

45 minNot too much to report in the latter stages of this half with both teams seemingly preparing to enter the break at 1-1. It is just so delicately poised at the moment, which is brilliant news for the neutral. A half-chance does arrive for Griezmann as he meets a cross from Vela, but the Frenchman can only head wide. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute of stoppage time.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Real Sociedad 1-1 Levante

11.48amSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with the two sides level at 1-1. Vela handed Sociedad the lead from the spot after 18 minutes, but Levante equalised with a penalty of their own, as Michel dispatched. It has been an enthralling 45 minutes of football.

11.52amLet's take a look at some statistics from the opening half of football. Sociedad have dominated the possession with 65%, while they have had five attempts to Levante's three. Despite the home side enjoying the majority of the ball, Levante are certainly worth a point at this stage of the match.

11.56amWhat about the benches for this afternoon? Sociedad have a host of attacking options in the shape of Jose Angel and Diego Ifran, but Levante also have experienced midfielder Jose Barkero in their squad. One thing is for certain, both managers have the capability to influence proceedings from the bench.

12pmRight, we are just a couple of minutes away from the second period. Let me take this moment to remind you what we have to come this afternoon. Starting from 3.30pm, we have three back-to-back live commentaries in La Liga with Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid all in action. Be sure to join us for that.

46 minBoth sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. No changes for either side at the interval which is not too surprising at this stage of events. As it stands, Sociedad would move into fifth position in the table, while Levante would remain ninth. The away side get the half underway.

48 minExcuse me, there was indeed a change for the away side at the interval with Pedro Lopez replacing Lell, who had appeared to be carrying an injury. You just get the feeling that the next goal in this match - if there indeed is one - will play a vital role in the final result. Let's hope for more of the same from the first period.

50 minLevante force the issue once more as Diop drives forward from midfield before finding Michel in the penalty area, the forward takes one touch before striking towards goal, but it was always moving wide of the post. Sociedad will want more from Griezmann in this half, with the Frenchman not featuring too heavily in the first period. High tempo start to the second 45 minutes.

52 minHalf-chance for the home side to test the Levante goalkeeper as Vela is felled by Diop outside the penalty area. The resulting free kick is taken by the Griezmann, but his effort is deflected wide for a corner. Decent pressure from Sociedad, but they are finding it difficult to work a way through this stern defence.

54 minCROSSBAR! The away side come within a whisker of taking the lead as Mikel strikes an effort from outside the box, but it thumps against the crossbar. The resulting corner also causes concern in the box, but Bravo comes a long way to claim the danger. End-to-end football here.

56 minCastro attempts to go alone for the home side as he picks up possession before driving to the edge of the box, he strikes a powerful effort towards the top corner, but Navas is on hand to make the save. The resulting corner is taken by Vela, but Bergara can only head over the crossbar. Enthralling 10 minutes to this second period thus far.

58 minRED CARD! The away side are reduced 10 men as Karabelas is given his marching orders for a foul on Vela. What on earth is he doing making that challenge having already picked up a yellow card in the first period?! Another La Liga match, another red card. Standard.

60 minLittle over 30 minutes of football remaining in this match and Sociedad now have the man advantage. They almost make it count immediately as Griezmann drives into the box, but Navas comes out to make a fine save. A free kick from Vela causes problems moments later, but Diop rises highest to clear the danger.

62 minAnother half-chance comes to the home side as Vela combines with Griezmann before striking an effort towards the bottom corner, but it was always moving wide of the post. Meanwhile, Levante are forced into a change as Juanfran replaces Pedro Rios. You sense that they will have to adopt a defensive mindset in this second period.

64 minSociedad continue to dominate proceedings with Vela and Griezmann causing all sorts of problems with their pace and movement, but Levante have thus far been able to quell the threat. Unfortunately, the away side have simply not been able to offer a threat down the other end with Martins cutting an isolated figure.

66 minThe home side make their first change of the match as Ruben Pardo replaces Bergara, who has struggled to get into the second period. Sociedad again threaten with two corners in quick succession, but Navas clears the first before Vela fires the latter wide. All one-way traffic at the moment.

68 minRight, little over 20 minutes of this match remaining and the two sides sit level at 1-1. Levante are down to 10 men with Karabelas receiving his marching orders in the second period, but the home side have thus far been unable to make their numerical advantage count. However, they continue to pass and probe outside the Levante box.

70 minCHANCE! The pressure continues to rise from the home side as Vela meets a cross from Pardo, but Navas gets down low to make a fine save at the feet of the midfielder. Two corners follow, but the home side just cannot find the back of the net. However, it appears that the third goal is on it way.

72 minMeanwhile, the home side make their second change of the match as Agirretxe replaces Prieto for the final 18 minutes of normal time. You just get the feeling that there is another goal in this match, with Sociedad looking the more likely. However, it would be just like football if Levante went down the other end and scored.

74 minLevante remained camped in their own half as they continue to hold onto this point. I could be wrong, but I don't think Martins has touched the ball in the last 20 minutes or so. It would certainly be a welcome point should the away side keep tight in defence. However, the home supporters have just started to raise their side once more.

76 minAgain Vela is involved as the Mexican collects possession before finding Griezmann in the box, but Ballesteros is across to make a fine challenge at the vital moment. The resulting corner is met by Inigo Martinez, but the youngster can only head wide of the target. Little under 15 minutes of normal time remaining.

78 minThe home side make their third and final change of the match as Ifran replaces Castro. Arguably, Sociedad now have four strikers on the pitch, if you include Griezmann in that quartet. Can Levante hold on? Make no mistake about it, that is what they are doing at the moment. They have simply offered no attacking threat since losing Karabelas to a red card.

80 minLevante make their third change of the afternoon as Michel is replaced by Ruben Garcia. In fairness to the away side, they have just managed to quell the traffic in the last couple of minutes, but you do get the feeling that chances will come in the final 10 minutes. As it stands, Sociedad would still move into fifth position with a point.

83 minThe pressure does indeed continue as Vela strikes an effort from outside the box, but Navas is on hand to make a save. Levante attempt to exploit the pace of Martins down the other end, but the Nigerian simply has no support. Garcia does have a strike at goal moments later, but it never had enough power to really trouble Bravo.

85 minNot too much to report in the last couple of moments with the tempo interrupted by a series of free kicks. Levante have just started to employ some time-wasting techniques in order to see this match through. All above board of course! Diop has a strike from distance, but once more it is straight at Bravo.

88 minSociedad continue to flood players into the Levante penalty area, but the away side have been wonderful defensively in this second period. Valdo does a wonderful job for his team as he carries possession out of the Levante half before winning a free kick. Time is certainly not on Sociedad's side at the moment. In truth, a 1-1 draw would not be the worst result for either side.

90 minLevante have certainly managed to quell the threat in the last couple of moments with Valdo on hand to win a free kick in his own half. That is wonderful play from the midfielder at this stage of the match. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes of added time.

90 min+3Vela is again involved for the home side as he collects possession in a wide area before curling an effort towards the top corner, but it was always moving wide of the post. The home side continue to launch high balls into the penalty area, but it appears that Levante might have done enough as they are awarded a goal kick with little under a minute of football remaining.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Real Sociedad 1-1 Levante

12.52pmSo there we have it. Sociedad move into fifth position in the table courtesy of a 1-1 draw against Levante. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to join us for more La Liga football from 3.30pm this afternoon. Until then!

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates a goal against Celta Vigo on January 9, 2013
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