REAL MADRID - LEVANTE
Real Madrid 1-1 Levante: match report, as it happened, goals
Real Madrid 1-1 Levante: match summary
Real Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw in the Bernabéu by a well-organised and ambitious Levante side, condemning Zidane Zidane’s Liga champions to a second consecutive stalemate after Valencia also left the capital with a point in the last round of fixtures.
Prior to the game Levante and Madrid had managed more or less the same number of shots on goal but that statistic fell down in the early kick off as the home side peppered the visitors’ goal with 10 shots on target and one off the foot of the woodwork from the boot of Toni Kroos.
Real also racked up 13 corners and dominated possession but failed to find a way through as Zidane’s experimental side lacked a cutting edge in front of goal after Karim Benzema was forced off with an injury on 24 minutes.
The Frenchman's replacement, Gareth Bale, spurned two clear chances to hand Real the lead, in a one-on-one with Raúl and a late header that he sent wide of the upright when it looked easier to score.
Zidane effectively suffered from the rotation policy that served him so well last season. Handing a debut to Theo Hernández and pairing Marcos Llorente with Toni Kroos, Real lacked cohesion in midfield. Casemiro was an unused substitute and Luka Modric rested as the Real boss tried out a 4-2-3-1 formation that even Marco Asensio couldn't glue together.
But it was the patented Madrid defensive switch off that cost the home side. A long throw from the right looked innocuous enough until the entire Real back line moved like a herd of sheep in the direction of the source. That left only Dani Carvajal in the middle and the full back completely lost sight of the ball, allowing Ivi to prod it past Casilla.
Lucas Vázquez equalised later in the first half, tapping in a rebound off Raúl's knee after Sergio Ramos had aimed a header at the Levante keeper's boots. That Real enjoyed a slice of good fortune in levelling the match was undeniable, and when Levante went down to 10 with the departure of Chema Rodríguez through injury with Muñiz having played all his cards it seemed the writing was on the wall with 10 minutes to go.
But Madrid were unable to find a breakthrough before Marcelo evened things up with a kick on Lerma as the clock ran down, earning the Brazilian a straight red card and a probable three-match ban.