"Make a Taurus angry and you will see the bull for yourself."
Real Sociedad were the final visitors of Millwall's pre-season calendar and the La Liga side were also the side who had the most appeal and glamour attached to it. Although a friendly where anything can happen and the result not taken too seriously, there were many who questioned whether this large and powerful bull who finished 9th in the Spanish top flight would create havoc and chaos through the streets of Bermondsey, or would our matadors in yellow put up a good enough fight?
It was Millwall who started the game between the two brighter and were awarded a penalty in the opening five minutes when Matt Smith excellently brought the ball down on his chest and was then pulled down in the eighteen-yard box. Shaun Williams stepped up to place the ball home, but the visiting goalkeeper got down well to keep the score line level.
The game continued to be one where neither team overly dominated in the first twenty minutes and both teams waved their capes and had half chances, but it was the Lions who were awarded a second penalty in the 19th minute when Jake Cooper was brought down in the penalty area as a corner was lofted into the Sociedad box. It was Jed Wallace who had Millwall's second bite of the cherry and although the 'keeper got his hand to it, Wallace's drive down the middle of the goal was too strong and his effort rippled the back of the net. 1-0 to the matadors in their fluorescent uniforms.
The home fans weren't celebrating for long as only two minutes later, an exquisite pass from the Sociedad midfield effectively took the Lions' midfield and defence out of the game and found Isak in space and the forward coolly slotted the ball past Fielding in front of the Cold Blow Lane end. This bull was snarling, had flashed it's horns and was back in the game.
Millwall had the chance to take the lead and nearly went 2-1 up in the 25th minute when a long range free-kick caught everyone in the visiting side off guard and after bouncing between Sociedad bodies, ricocheted off of the woodwork and the follow up from Alex Pearce was headed away from danger.
With that effort aside, the visitors were growing into the game and in the 31st minute a long range effort from Zururuza drew mass applause from all the populated areas of The Den. Being given too much time and room just outside the Millwall penalty area, Zururuza unleashed a charge which gored Fielding and left him helpless as the ball went low and to his right. It was the visitors who took the lead and although the Lions had battled hard up until that point, there were not too many complaints and the first half ended 2-1 to the San Sebastian side.
It didn't take long for Millwall to get back into the game in the second half and young Ben Thompson did it in style. Intercepting a poor clearance in the 49th minute, Thompson looked up and curled an outstanding effort into the top corner from well outside the penalty area. The effort had Remiro in the Sociedad well beat and the fans gasped at what could already be considered one of the goals of the season before it has even started.
The backwards and forwards action that had been the backdrop of the whole game continued and only four minutes later in the 53rd minute Sociedad retook the lead. A lovely run down the right wing from former Manchester United winger Januzaj saw him cut the ball back superbly into the path of Isak who easily put the ball past Fielding from only two yards out in front of the away fans. It was a simple and effective move from the bull and showed the class they had and the ease they could produce it when required.
It was shortly after this that Neil Harris introduced a number of changes and when the likes of Jiri Skalak, Tom Bradshaw, Ryan Leonard and Shaun Hutchinson were brought on, there was an upturn of eagerness on the field. The visitors continued to have more possession, but Millwall were closing down the ball down better and were looking sharper than they had at the beginning of the second half. This hard work was rewarded when a lovely ball was played over to Mahlon Romeo in the 83rd minute and the full-back cushioned it down expertly into the path of Mahoney, The winger dropped his shoulder to make the angry bull commit to the challenge, and seeing a gap at the 'keeper's far post unleashed a gorgeous curling effort into the top corner to make it 3-3.
This proved to be the last real chance of the game and Sociedad's high and wide effort on the 90th minute mark drew the referee's full-time whistle. The bull and the matador looked each other in the eyes and knew that a draw and mutual respect was possibly the best result for both and Neil Harris will be happy going into the Preston North End game next weekend that the Lions have what it takes to do well in the Championship next season.
Millwall: Fielding, M. Wallace (Ferguson 71'), Cooper, Williams (Leonard 71'), J. Wallace (Skalak 71'), Thompson (Mitchell 87'), Smith (Bradshaw 71'), Romeo, Pearce (Hutchinson 71'), Mahoney, O'Brien (Bodvarsson 71').
Sub not used: Sandford.
Real Sociedad: Remiro, Zaldua, Illarramendi, Sagnan, Januzaj, Munoz, Zururuza, Isak, Odegaard, Le Normans, Djouahra.
Subs: Rulli, Llorente, Portugues, Da Silva, Pardo, Elustondo, Gorosabel, Rodrigues, Navas, Guevara Lajo, Lopez, Zubiaurre, Zubimendi