Becks scores on Real return
By Chris Stanton
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
David Beckham scored a free-kick on his return to the team as Real Madrid won 2-1.
David Beckham scored a free-kick on his return to the team as Real Madrid came from behind to defeat Real Sociedad 2-1.
Beckham had been blackballed by Fabio Capello ever since agreeing to sign for LA Galaxy last month but played a key role at Estadio Anoeta to relieve the pressure on the under-fire coach.
Capello's position was done no favours by Real custodian Iker Casillas - the goalkeeper dropping a cross into the path of Mikel Aranburu who tapped home with just eight minutes on the clock.
Beckham pulled his team level after 37 minutes and though it was hardly a trademark delivery, the ball swerved enough to deceive goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.
Bravo did not cover himself in glory for Real's winner either just three minutes after the restart.
Bravo lost the flight of Miguel Torres's cross and Ruud van Nistelrooy accepted the gift to head home.
Second-from-bottom Sociedad, who already seem destined for relegation, were inches away from claiming an equaliser when Xabier Prieto's shot was deflected wide, but Beckham - who played the full 90 minutes - and his Real team-mates held out for the win.
Real are now up to third, just two points behind leaders Barcelona.
Sevilla missed the chance to claim top spot from Barca following a goalless derby day draw against Real Betis.
Strugglers Betis had the better chances - none more so than when they were awarded an 11th minute penalty.
There appeared to be minimal contact between defender Daniel Alves and forward Fernando, so perhaps justice was done when Roberto stepped up from the spot and skied his shot horribly.
Rafael Sobis saw a second half goal ruled out for offside, while, at the other end, Christian Poulsen could not force the ball home following a goalmouth scramble.
Roberto was denied when one-on-one with Sevilla goalkeeper Andres Palop with just 10 minutes remaining to maintain the deadlock.