La Liga: Julen Lopetegui’s Real Madrid stunned by Levante at the Bernabeu
Real Madrid’s woes this season continued as they succumbed to an unexpected 1-2 loss at the hands of Levante at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
This was Real’s fourth defeat in five matches. Although defender Marcelo’s strike in the 72nd minute ended their goal drought of 482 minutes, eventually it wasn’t enough for the La Liga giants to walk away with a point, let alone winning the contest.
This loss also puts more pressure on new manager Julen Lopetegui whose side have clearly failed to deliver this season after the departure of their star forward Cristiano Ronaldo to Portugal.
But nothing can be taken away from the fact that it was a hard-fought victory on Levante’s part who made their intentions clear right from the word go. No wonder they took the lead with just six minutes of play after a defensive error from Raphael Varane helped Morales pounce on a long ball from Sergio Postigo and send it past Thibaut Courtois for the opener.
The French World Cup-winning defender was once again at fault and this time for handling the ball inside the area and although it was given as free-kick initially, the VAR came into play which awarded a penalty for the visitors who obliged and slotted in their second of the night.
Real Madrid had more reasons to hate the VAR after goals from Marco Asensio and Mariano were annulled by the new technology.
Levante on other hand, also saw a stunning performance from their keeper Oier saved efforts from Casemiro, Lucas Vasquez and Gareth Bale to cap off a wonderful outing.
The introduction of forwards Benzema and Bale meant that Lopetegui wanted his side to go all out and restore parity but it was left-back Marcelo who came up with Real’s first of the night when he struck one into the net in the 72nd minute.
Despite repeated efforts, Real Madrid couldn’t produce a second goal as Levante held on to notch up an impressive victory.
Image credit- Evening Standard