Evening all! Our penultimate La Liga live commentary of the evening pits last season’s fourth-place finishers against third as Sociedad welcome Atletico. Sociedad have taken four points from their first two matches of the league season, but Atletico have a 100% record after beating Sevilla and Rayo Vallecano last time out.
As mentioned, it has been a good week for Sociedad, who ensured their spot in the group stages of the Champions League with a 4-0 aggregate win over Lyon. Their reward for ensuring their progress was a spot in Group A alongside Manchester United, Bayer Leverkusen and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Atletico did manage to claim a 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Wednesday, but were beaten on away goals following Barelona’s draw in the Vicente Calderon last week. They have also made an impressive start to the La Liga season with a 3-1 win over Sevilla followed by a 5-0 thumping of capital rivals Rayo Vallecano.
SOCIEDAD XI: Bravo; Cadamuro, Ansotegi, Martinez, De la Bella; Markel, Prieto, Zurutuza; Vela, Seferovic, Griezmann
ATLETICO XI: Courtois; Juanfran, Godin, Miranda, Filipe; Gabi, Suarez, Koke; Turan, Villa, Costa
So there we have it. No real surprises in the Sociedad XI this evening with Antoine Griezmann, Carlos Vela and Seferovic continuing in attack. Meanwhile, there are also starts for Xabi Prieto
and Zurutuza. Atletico continue with the same side that drew in the Super Cup with Barcelona. Right, the home side get the action underway.
As expected, it has been an explosive opening couple of minutes with both sides attempting to take control of the midfield battle. Sociedad have taken four points from their opening two matches, while Atletico are on six points following an impressive start. Let's hope for a cracker at the Estadio Municipal.
CROSSBAR! Wonderful opportunity for Sociedad to take the lead inside four minutes as Griezmann strikes one on the half-volley just inside the box, but it smashes against the crossbar. A corner is awarded with Courtois judged to have made contact, but Miranda is on hand to clear. Bright opening four minutes to proceedings.
If Atletico are to seriously challenge Real Madrid and Barcelona this season, then you just get the feeling that this is the type of match they need to win. Not too much from Diego Simeone's side in the opening stages, but Villa does win a corner after bursting past the challenge of De la Bella. Hardly time to take a breath in the opening six minutes of football.
I wonder how long it will take for Costa to get on the wrong side of the referee? I reckon another five minutes. Just a few signs that the away side are starting to find their feet with the likes of Gabi and Suarez enjoying possession of the ball. You just get the feeling that this one could be decided by the odd goal.
Atletico want a penalty as Inigo Martinez appears to handle inside the box, but the referee is not interested. Sociedad waste no time in moving the ball down the other end with Griezmann, but the Frenchman cannot find the run of Vela on the opposite flank. Neither side has really taken control of the possession in the opening 10 minutes, but it has been highly-charged.
Vela takes matters into his own hands for the home side as he collects possession outside the box before releasing an effort towards the top corner, but it was always moving high and wide of the crossbar. Atletico have the ball down the other end moments later, but Costa is not on the same wavelength as Villa as he fails to combine with Spain's all-time leading scorer.
CHANCE! The best chance of the match falls to a red and white shirt as Turan finds Villa on the edge of the box, but the former Barcelona forward can only plant his effort just wide of the post. That should have been the opener. The match is just starting to open up with 15 minutes on the clock. It has been a bright opening to proceedings.
Villa again comes close to finding the bottom corner as the striker capitalises on a mistake from Martinez before thumping an effort towards goal, but it just moves wide of the post. He has looked the most likely to open the scoring, with his side starting to enjoy a lot of possession in the Sociedad half. Can the home side respond?
Miranda thinks he has the simple task of rolling the ball into the back of the net from close range as he rounds Bravo inside the box, but the Brazilian is stopped by the offside flag. Sociedad are just struggling to get the likes of Griezmann and Vela into the game at the moment with Miranda and Godin equal to the danger. Still goalless with 20 minutes on the clock at the Estadio Municipal.
You just get the feeling that the first goal - if we indeed have one - will be vital in this type of match. Atletico were 1-0 winners on this ground last season and I would not back against a similar result. Villa has another shooting chance moments later, but he is crowded out at the vital moment.
It must be said that there is an incredible atmosphere inside the stadium this evening with the home supporters in good voice. Their side needs to do a little bit more, however, with Villa coming close to opening the scoring with another half-chance inside the box. Little over 20 minutes of the first period remaining in Sociedad.
There's Costa getting himself involved! The Brazilian striker appears to jump into Bravo inside the Sociedad box, but the referee is not interested in taking further action. It is all one-way traffic at the moment with Atletico pushing numbers forward. Costa is again involved moments later as he clashes with Seferovic.
Turan gets himself involved with Vela moments later, gaining a yellow card for pulling the Mexican to the ground. Costa continues to get himself involved in one way or another down the other end, but his bursting run into the box is stopped by Martinez, before Griezmann is chopped down by Godin down the other end.
GOAL! Sociedad 0-1 Atletico (Villa)
And that is why Villa is Spain's all-time leading scorer. It's a half-chance at best as the forward wriggles into the box, before lifting a wonderful chip over the onrushing Bravo. In truth, the goal had been coming. Atletico have been very impressive thus far.
Sociedad were fantastic last season and have started the new campaign in similar fashion, but they are not at the same level as this Atletico side. In my opinion, Simeone's side are moving closer to the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid. They have utterly dominated the opening 31 minutes of football this evening. Can Sociedad respond?
It has been a good response from Sociedad in the last couple of moments with the likes of Greizmann and Vela more involved in the final third, but they are finding it difficult to move through this Atletico defence. They are not the first team and will not be the last to have similar problems.
Another half-chance for the away side as Costa collects possession on the left before dancing into the box, but he attempts to find Villa, when the Spaniard had moved into an offside position. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining with Sociedad still struggling to quell the pressure from the capital outfit.
It looked to be a strong penalty shout for the away side as Martinez appears to divert the ball away from Costa with his hand, but the referee is not interested. As expected, Costa continues to battle the Sociedad defence, who are finding it difficult to deal with the Brazilian. Atletico still lead courtesy of that smart Villa finish.
Bit of news coming out of Spain that Gareth Bale is close to signing for Real Madrid. Well, it is about time. Tottenham Hotspur had been digging their heels in over the transfer, but it is understood that everything has now been agreed. Little over five minutes of the half remaining at the Estadio Municipal, as Costa tests Bravo with an attempt from inside the box.
Better from the home side in the last couple of moments with Griezmann starting to see more of the ball in the final third. The Frenchman attempts to find Vela with a threaded pass moments later, but Godin is across to clear the danger. Can the home side level before the interval?
Sociedad continue to force the issue with a series of crosses into the box, but it is playing into the hands or indeed heads of the Atletico defence, who are comfortable dealing with the aerial threat. Where has this first period gone? It has flown past!
HALF TIME: Sociedad 0-1 Atletico
So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with Atletico leading courtesy of that strike from Villa. Sociedad certainly improved in the latter stages of the half, but Atletico have been the more slick in the final third. They are heading for their third win of the season, unless Sociedad can turn this one around.
BENCH WATCH: The home side have a number of attacking options on the bench in the shape of Joseba Zaldua, Esteban Granero and Chory Castro. Meanwhile, Atletico have the likes of Oliver Torres, Adrian Lopez and Cristian Rodriguez in reserve, but there is no Leo Baptistao this evening.
STATISTICS: Sociedad have had more of the ball with 55% of the possession, but they have managed just two attempts to Atletico's five. That said, the home side did come close to taking the lead in the early stages, but Griezmann could only clip his effort onto the crossbar from close range.
Just a reminder that following this match we have action from Valencia against Barcelona at the Mestalla. I can assure you that you will not want to miss it. Right, both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. It doesn't appear that there has been any changes as Atletico get the half underway.
You just get the feeling that the next goal - if there indeed is one - could decide the outcome. If Sociedad score, then it is very much game on. But another goal for Atletico and it is difficult to see the home side turning it around. Plenty of noise from the home supporters in the early stages of the second period.
Half-chance for the home side as De la Bella collects possession outside the box, but he thumps his effort high and wide of the target. Costa is involved in another physical battle with Ansotegi moments later, but this time the Sociedad defender comes out on top. Good start to the second half from the home side. Much more purpose about their work in the final third.
It's a poor challenge from Godin as the centre-back fells Griezmann outside the box. The resulting free kick is taken short by Prieto, but it breaks down, much to the frustration of the home supporters. Zurutuza is in trouble moments later for a barge on Gabi, but the referee decides against taking the midfielder's name.
Neither side has looked to their bench thus far, but I suspect that Arraste will look to change things if the score remains the same in around 15 minutes or so. Just a reminder that the corresponding match last season finished 1-0 to Atletico. However, Sociedad were 1-0 winners in the Vicente Calderon. Away comforts.
Half-chance for Griezmann as the Frenchman beats the offside trap before eluding the challenge of Miranda, but he cannot control at the vital moment, allowing Courtois out to claim. Atletico attempt to force the issue on the counter moments later, but Suarez loses possession before fouling Griezmann, picking up a yellow card in the process.
BREAKING NEWS: Real Madrid have indeed announced the signing of Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur. It was never in doubt was it? He will be available for the former Spanish champions after the international break. Madrid's capital rivals Atletico are not doing badly this evening, however, with their lead still in tact.
GOAL! Sociedad 0-2 Atletico (Koke)
Atletico have their second of the evening as Villa finds Koke, who thumps a powerful effort into the bottom corner from inside the box. Stunning counter from the capital side. Is there any way back for Sociedad? It is difficult to imagine them turning this one around.
Sociedad make their first change of the evening as Elustondo replaces Bergara, who has struggled to influence proceedings this evening. It has been a good response from the home side in the last couple of moments, but they are finding it difficult to find a way through this Atletico defence. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining in Sociedad.
There has been a lot of money flying around in Europe this summer, but surely the signing of the summer has to be Villa. He arrived at Atletico for a figure in the region of £2m. That is just incredible for a player of his ability. Sociedad continue to force the issue in the final third, but Miranda and Godin have been immense once more.
Half-chance for Costa to score Atletico's third of the evening as Costa rises highest in the Sociedad box, but his header is just wide of the target. I suspect that we could see Simeone make a couple of changes in the next five minutes or so. It has been a long week for his players with the Super Cup against Barcelona during the week.
Another half-chance for the away side as Koke delivers another dangerous cross into the box, but Costa cannot make contact under pressure from De la Bella. Bravo makes a bit of a mess of another cross moments later, but the Sociedad goalkeeper does manage to clear the danger. Little over 20 minutes of football remaining.
Not much sympathy from the home side for Costa as the Atletico forward hobbles off the pitch following a clash with Zurutuza. The resulting free kick is whipped into the box by Gabi, but Ansotegi manages to clear. Change for Sociedad moments later as Granero replaces Seferovic.
GOAL! Sociedad 1-2 Atletico (Prieto)
Stunning strike from Prieto as the midfielder collects a pass from Granero before thumping his effort into the top corner. What a strike from the Spaniard. Game on with little over 20 minutes of football remaining in what has been a wonderful La Liga encounter.
I think we will find out just how good this Atletico team is when they start playing in the Champions League. I am not sure if there are many sides in world football as tactically sound as the Madrid outfit. Simeone was criticised throughout his playing career, but what he has done to this Atletico team is quite sensational. That said, they are now in a spot on bother here.
One-way traffic in the last few moments with the home side forcing the issue with a number of high balls into the box. We will certainly get a sense of where Atletico are in the final 15 minutes of this match. Can they hold on for what would be a very impressive three points?
Gabi becomes the latest player to enter the book for a late challenge on De la Bella, who flung himself through the air. Just a reminder that following this match we have action from Valencia against Barcelona. Good work from Villa down the right as he wins another corner down the right for Atletico.
Not too much to report in terms of opportunities in the last few moments with both sides guilty of losing possession in the final third. A half-chance does arrive for Turan moments later as the Turkish international turns inside the box, but his effort is straight into the arms of Bravo.
Vela gets himself involved with Courtois as the Mexican has a little kick out at the Belgian goalkeeper, but the referee takes no further action. It is a really bitty game at the moment with both sides getting involved with dangerous challenges. This a real contest with eight minutes of football remaining.
Atletico look to their bench as Ruben Garcia replaces Villa, while Sociedad also make a change with Ruben Pardo replacing Ansotegi. Can Atletico hold on for what would be a very impressive three points? Sociedad will feel that they can create a few openings in the latter stages there is no question about that.
Sociedad break with numbers as Griezmann collects possession outside the box before attempting to feed a pass towards Vela, but the Mexican cannot gather under pressure from Miranda. Time is not on Sociedad's side at the moment as Zurutuza heads wide following good work from De la Bella.
Atletico are just keeping hold of the possession at the moment, which is certainly frustrating the home supporters and players alike. It appears that Atletico will make another change with Adrian Lopez preparing to enter the field. Can Atletico hold on in the final few minutes?
CHANCE! Incredible chance for the home side as Granero ghosts into the box, but Courtois is on hand to make a sensational save. What a stunning piece of goalkeeping from the big Belgian. Moments later, Atletico make a change with Adrian replacing Costa, who has again been excellent.
CHANCE! Another stunning save from Courtois as the on-loan Chelsea goalkeeper denies Pardo from close range. Down the other end, Bravo is booked for handling outside the box. He could have walked for that. Little over one minute of normal time remaining.
FULL TIME: Sociedad 1-2 Atletico
So there we have it. Atletico pick up all three points despite late pressure from Sociedad. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to remain with us for Valencia against Barcelona. Until then!