Real Madrid, sliding down a slippery slope
Going downhill fast, Real Madrid lost in the Bernabéu against Levante, a team well organised by Paco Lopéz and who can count on Morales, who is enjoying a late flourish to his career. The game, in reality, was over in 12 minutes: first, a long pass to Morales, who dealt with a feeble Varane, beat Courtois and scored; then Varane handled the ball to take it off Roger and the VAR ruled it was inside the box. Penalty, in other words, and a second goal. A stunned Bernabéu watched what threatened to be a terrible collapse, but Levante felt comfortable enough at the back and only sent up measured counter-attacks.
The Bernabéu contained their anger at the Real Madrid players
And everything went wrong for Real Madrid. The penalty was a free-kick until the VAR turned it into a spot-kick; Madrid had the ball in the net soon after, the referee gave it as a goal after consulting with his assistant… but the VAR chalked it off. An air of catastrophe, the feeling things were jinxed, swept over the ground and the legs of the Real Madrid players. The fans in the Bernabéu dealt with it best. They were unhappy, but didn’t turn their anger into a scolding for the players in line with the magnitude of what was happening on the pitch. The team showed their gratitude with a second half in which they got better as time went on, taking advantage of Levante’s fatigue and bolstered by the substitutions. Real Madrid constantly attacked Oier’s goal and Levante’s incursions into Real Madrid’s territory ceased.
Disastrous situation at Real Madrid
The final result is misleading. Real Madrid were alive to the death and deserved to turn the match around. They hit the post three times, had two goals chalked off, Oier made 11 saves (Courtois none) and they had 15 corners. And just one goal, from Marcelo. But set against that is the simple fact that they’ve not won in five games and Lopetegui is being made to look ridiculous by the director's box. His job is hanging by a thread, but he’s kept on with the Clásco coming up, to avoid bringing in a new coach just before the game against Madrid’s eternal rivals. A disaster, then. Florentino signed Lopetegui as his sixth choice after five noes, he destroyed the Spanish set-up two days before the World Cup and now this is the result…