Real Madrid 2 Real Sociedad 0: Beckham comes off the bench to seal Real victory

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The Independent Online

David Beckham has lost the England captaincy and his place in the national team in the last three months ­ last night he saw his grip on a first-team place at Real Madrid loosen as Jose Antonio Reyes replaced him in the team and scored a sensational long-range free-kick against Real Sociedad.

But the former England captain showed typical fight by coming on as a substitute and racing from his own half to score a superb second goal in the 2-0 win.

After the club's stuttering start to the season Beckham was left out of last night's La Liga fixture against Real Sociedad by coach Fabio Capello who also dropped the Italian forward Antonio Cassano from the team that lost 2-0 in midweek to Lyon in the Champions' League.

Beckham, who might have seen the broken leg suffered by Owen Hargreaves as an opportunity to get back into the England squad, had to look on as Reyes started on the right wing and gave a man-of-the-match performance, scoring the winning goal on 69 minutes with a curling free-kick. But when the former Manchester United midfielder replaced the Arsenal loanee soon after he set about making his point to Capello.

Two minutes into injury time he won a header in his own half and raced clear to shoot past Asier Riesgo in the Sociedad goal.

As well being one of Capello's team changes Beckham has also fallen victim to Real Madrid's clampdown on players' off-field activities when the club refused him permission to fly to Barcelona on Thursday to take part in an adidas advert because it comes just 48 hours before Madrid play Betis in Seville.

Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Salgado, Cannavaro, Sergio Ramos, Roberto Carlos (Raul Bravo, 45); Diarra, Emerson (Robinho, 59); Reyes (Beckham, 80), Raul, Guti; Van Nistelrooy. Substitutes not used: Diego Lopez, Robinho, R Bravo, Cassano, Pavon, Mejia.

Real Sociedad (4-2-3-1): Riesgo; Garrido, Labaka, Juanito, Aitor; Rivas, Gerardo; Prieto, Aranburu, Gari; D De Cerio (Kovacevic 59). Substitutes not used: Bravo, Garitano, Ansotegi, Cifu, Felicio, Alonso.

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