Real Sociedad wins to stay in fight for Champions League place

Real Sociedad's Mikel Oyarzabal celebrates after his teammate Real Sociedad's Martin Zubimendi scores his side's opening goal during the Europa League Play-off, second leg, soccer match between Real Sociedad and Leipzig at the Reale Arena stadium in San Sebastian, Spain, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

MADRID — Real Sociedad continued its push for a Champions League spot with a 2-1 win at Elche in the Spanish league on Sunday.

Alexander Sorloth and Robin Le Normand scored less than 10 minutes apart in the first half to help Sociedad get within three points of fourth-place Atlético Madrid with seven rounds to go.

It was the third win in the last four matches for sixth-place Sociedad, which sits two points behind Real Betis in fifth.

Elche, which opened the scoring with Guido Carrillo in the third minute, stayed in 15th place, four points above the relegation zone. It has lost three in a row.

Sorloth scored in the 31st and Le Normand in the 39th, both after assists from veteran David Silva.

Sociedad forward Alexander Isak scored from a penalty kick but it was disallowed as he faked his shot to fool the goalkeeper before sending the ball into the net.

David Silva was one of Sociedad’s best players.


China forward Wu Lei scored in the 89th for his first goal of the season as Espanyol beat Celta Vigo 1-0 at home in a match between teams near the middle of the table.

Earlier, 10th-place Osasuna scored in stoppage time with a goal from Ante Budimir to beat last-place Alavés 1-0. It was the fourth loss in a row for Alavés with coach Julio Velázquez making his debut.

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