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Champions League group stage recap: Real Sociedad's solid showing

Real Sociedad conceded just two goals in six games as they topped Group D ahead of last season's finalists Inter.

All of Real Sociedad's Champions League group stage goals

Real Sociedad progressed to the UEFA Champions League round of 16 for the first time since 2003/04 as Imanol Alguacil's impressively sturdy side remained unbeaten to win Group D.

Round of 16: Paris vs Real Sociedad

Campaign so far

Highlights: Salzburg 0-2 Real Sociedad

Group D winners: W3 D3 L0 F7 A2
Top scorer: Brais Méndez (3)

20/09: Real Sociedad 1-1 Inter – Méndez 4; Martínez 87
: Salzburg 0-2 Real Sociedad – Oyarzabal 7, Méndez 27
: Benfica 0-1 Real Sociedad – Méndez 63
: Real Sociedad 3-1 Benfica – Merino 6, Oyarzabal 11, Barrenetxea 21; Rafa Silva 49
: Real Sociedad 0-0 Salzburg 
12/12: Inter 0-0 Real Sociedad

Campaign in ten words: A breath of fresh air with their vibrant, free-flowing style.

UEFA.com reporter's view

Returning to the Champions League after a decade away, advancing from the group stage would have been Real Sociedad's target. However, no one expected their remarkable unbeaten run, which has taken their competitors by storm. Their performances have been better than the results have indicated, which says a lot about just how good this team are. Even more impressively, this has been achieved with a squad boasting 11 homegrown players, and a minimum of six of those starting each match.

How do Real Sociedad play?

Imanol Alguacil's hard-working side shape up in an offensive 4-3-3 formation, demanding possession and pressing high. Playing with a high intensity from start, the majority of their goals have been scored within the opening ten minutes. Despite showing that they can dominate matches, being unable to kill games and conceding late goals has proved to be their biggest weakness.

Fantasy star performers

Brais Méndez – 39 points
Aihen Muñoz – 37 points
Igor Zubeldia – 36 points

Highlights: Real Sociedad 3-1 Benfica

Key stats

• Between Matchdays 2 and 4, Real Sociedad won three successive Champions League group matches for the first time in their history. Prior to this sequence they were on a run of 11 group games without a win.

• Ander Barrenetxea's goal at home to Benfica made him La Real's second youngest scorer in the Champions League at 21 years 316 days. Xabi Alonso was seven days younger when he struck against Galatasaray in 2003.

• Real Sociedad have lost only one of their last 13 European group matches (W9 D3).

Squad changes

In: Jon Mikel Aramburu, Sheraldo Becker, Javier Galán
Out: Gaizka Ayesa, Mohamed-Ali Cho, Aihen Muñoz

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