Real Madrid RMA
1
Eder Militao 8',Marco Asensio 12'
Levante LEV
2
Morales 31',Roger 77'
Completed

Real Madrid 1-2 Levante: result, summary and goals

Calum Roche

COMMENT

Real Madrid 1-2 Levante: as it happened

Real Madrid 1-2 Levante: match report

Levante striker Roger Marti brushed off squandering a penalty to score the winning goal as his side pulled off a shock 2-1 La Liga victory at Real Madrid on Saturday after playing the majority of the game with an extra man.

Real defender Eder Militao was sent off in the ninth minute for denying Sergio Leon a clear scoring chance but the champions took the lead in the 14th with a superb goal on the counter-attack from Marco Asensio.

Levante's talismanic forward Jose Luis Morales equalised with an unstoppable first-time finish in the 32nd minute and his side earned a penalty in the second half but Real keeper Thibaut Courtois palmed away Marti's spot-kick.

Marti had the final say, though, teeing himself up to blast a shot past Courtois in the 78th minute and clinch an unlikely Levante win that left second-placed Real seven points behind leaders Atletico Madrid, who have two games in hand. (Richard Martin reporting)

FULL-TIME

Goals: Asensio (13'); Morales (32'), Roger (78')

Red card: Militao (9')

90+5

Peep, peep, peeeeep! Levante have a famous win.

90+5

It's a poor delivery from the German (who looks exhausted) and it bounces out of play. That could well be that.

90+4

Kroos is fouled twice in the middle of the park and the second one brings the whistle to the lips of the ref. Courtois heads upfield.

90+2

Kroos joins in with an attack and is almost able to get through on goal but the ball is nudged back to Aitor who is quick to clear.

90

We'll have four minutes added on here. Little sign from Madrid that they'll find an equaliser, never mind two goals.

90

Bardhi has a go from the dead-ball but the wall stands tall and blocks.

Casemiro was booked for that.

89

More composed play from Levante, they can see the Madrid players are tired and, dare I say, already accepting defeat.

A break forward sees a late, frustrated challenge from Casemiro and a free-kick awarded just outside the Madrid area.

87

A half chance presents itself for Sergio Arribas who is played into the area by Modric. There are just too many bodies and the visitors come away with the ball, again looking to slow things down.

85

Levante playing sensible football right now. Taking the pace out of the game where possible and keeping the ball for as many seconds as possible.

Three points are in sight for the Valencian club.

It's fair to say that the hosts have dropped a level in the last 15-20 minutes. Whether that's tiredness or not is hard to say but it's no fun to be fighting with a man less at this level.

82

Asensio and Benzema off. Arribas and Mariano on.

An interesting change from the Madrid decision makers

From the corner the ball finds its way to the feet of the Levante forward, who controls and hits hard. Courtois can just watch as it flies into the far corner. Cracking strike.

79

GOAL!! Roger puts Levante ahead

78

Corner to Levante after Melero has an effort from distance

76

Goalscorer Morales heads off and Gomez Alcon is on. The final push.

75

A number of Los Blancos' corners today have been taken short. This time Kroos to Modric and then inside to Odriozola who tries to burst through the defensive line.

72

When a yellow card is as clear as could be.

Melero does not want to be left trailing in Vini's wake so barges him off the pitch just as the thrust is activated.

70

Pressure leads to a corner for Madrid. Kroos' delivery is good but it's dealt with competently and  cleared.

69

Vini is sent away down the right touchline and his pace leave Rochina stretching out some grasping fingers to try and prevent him escaping. He fails but there is enough cover to stop the Brazilian getting too close to goal.

Vini is sent away down the right touchline and his pace leave Rochina stretching out some grasping fingers to try and prevent him escaping. He fails but there is enough cover to stop the Brazilian getting too close to goal.

67

A few loose balls fall for Levante players to try their luck from distance, the best of which is for the recently introduced Bardhi but all are blocked.

63

SAVE!!! What a brilliant one-handed stop from Courtois, diving to his left and sticking up a strong arm. Ramos sits down, a wry smile likely behind his mask.

63

PENALTY! Initially a free-kick was given on the edge of the area but the VAR said the foul occurred inside the box.

From my position, contact was indeed on the line, therefore a penalty, although Ramos and co in the stands are screaming "It was outside!" towards the ref - who interestingly didn't check the monitor.

62

VAR Is checking out a possible penalty for Levante. If it is, it'll be Vini's first contribution to the game.

60

Zidane's been on the blower it seems: Hazard is making way for Vini.

At the same time, Paco López is swapping León for Bardhi

58

It's worth noting, as we have on several occasions before, that for all the desire by Madrid to develop and bring through youth players, Modric and Kroos are still a huge part of what they do well.

Obviously some may point to the fact that younger players in those positions have not been given enough of a run to prove themselves...

55

Malsa strides away down the centre of the park and feeds Morales to his left as they close in on Madrid's penalty box. A twist or two from the 33-year old isn't enough to escape the two covering players.

53

CHANCES!! Asensio fired away down the right by Odriozola and tries to pick out his French striker at the back post.

The clearance is interrupted by Kroos who rolls the ball into the feet of Benzema but his miss-hit cross is wasted.

52

Both teams try the more direct approach; Benzema first chasing on and then Roger. The ball is met on both occasions by the covering goalkeeper.

50

Malsa into the book.

Modric intercepts a pass well and then attempts to skip past his marker who is not letting that happen.

48

Morales takes a short corner to Clerc and the knock back almost catches the Madrid defenders. As Kroos heel-volleys a clearance, it drops to Morales again who strikes from the edge of the area...

The sliced effort hits the corner flag!

47

A more tepid beginning to this half as a couple of early niggly fouls from Levante prevent any flow being built.

Second half is go!

The teams are slowly making their way back onto the field. Not a whole lot of proven options on the bench for Bettoni but Vinicius is warming up...

Popular Morales

There's a lot of love for the Levante man who has worked so hard across his career and has always shown that his talent is not in question.

Colin also points to that awesome nickname!

MA

Asensioooooooooo

The moment when Marco put his 10 men ahead

Half-time reflection

An early red card from Militao could have put Real Madrid on the back foot given the confidence that Levante were showing from the start but it was Los Blancos that went ahead quickly after. A delightful pass from Kroos set Asensio away and the Spaniard ran on and finished very calmly.

Did the visitors then freeze? Not a chance. There were a number of chances opening up at either end and one ended up in the net. Morales taking a cross in his stride and finishing off with a composed first touch.

Given the opportunities, Madrid will accept the scoreline, but it's hard to predict the second half.

HALF-TIME

Goals: Asensio (13'); Morales (32')

Red card: Militao (9')

45+1

Peeeep! The break arrives after a first half that flew by.

45

Just the one minute to be added.

43

Corner taken and a header back inside from the back post gives Clerc an opportunity to shoot. To be fair to him it's barely a half chance as it falls just behind him and Madrid bring it away.

42

Benzema almost squeezes his way through the final tackle into the Levante area and Asensio, following up, is just short of making his own chance. From there, Levante break and win a corner. What happens next I have no idea.

38

CLOSE! Casemiro is just a toe away from turning in a lovely inswinging free-kick from Kroos. The Levante defence appeared to have given up on it and Aitor was delighted to see it come all the way through to him.

Still an open game.

36

SAVE! Courtois called into action again, blocking from Roger's strike.

35

The visitors' tails are up and their play in the last couple of minutes shows that.

Madrid on the other hand look like that goal hit them harder than it would normally. As per my note in the build-up, Levante are now the first side to score in the league here in the first half for 17 games.

What a lovely controlled finish from the comandante who arrives at the back post unmarked and takes the ball just off the half-volley bounce and guides it home. Really tasty technique.

33

GOAL!! Morales levels it up

30

Benzema has a confident go at beating three defenders but is closed out and Levante come away with it. I can't imagine the supporting players were too pleased with that decision by the French striker.

27

CHANCE!! Asensio beats the offside trap to latch onto a long Mendy pass.

His first touch is sublime but as he turns to shoot he can't get a clean contact and Aitor blocks. Asensio gets to it first but the Granitos are quick to regroup.

25

SAVE! SAVE!! Courtois called into action twice in quick succession. Roger hitting a low effort from inside the area on the right blocked, and he meets the rebound in a better position to test the big Belgian again.

It all started from a Mendy mistake.

With Militao off, Casemiro has dropped back and both Hazard and Asensio seem to be tucking in more.

22

Another nice delivery from Minamon, this time from the right, finds Roger in the middle. He gets his head to the cross under close attention from Varane but glances it wide of goal.

19

DANGER! What a wonderful cross from Miramon on the left. Casemiro concedes a corner rather than taking any chances.

Corner well cleared by the home defence.

18

Hazard trying to dance his way down the left but has two players covering. A nutmeg almost sets the Belgian free but he is just beaten to the ball and it's cleared.

16

Levante have a nice minute or so of tidy interplay within the final third, almost creating an opening in behind Mendy.

The Frenchman does well enough at the second attempt to get the ball away. This already looks like being an entertaining affair.

That is exactly what Madrid needed. An excellent run from the Mallorcan gets him in front of goal and he slots home past Aitor.

13

GOAL!! Asensio puts Madrid ahead

10

The free-kick is finally taken and it's a low, weak effort that Courtois gathers up with ease.

I tend to agree with Robbie here, as there was sufficient cover. But Madrid down to 10 men early on.

9

RED CARD! Militao is off for that challenge.

Militao shown a yellow for that foul. And now the ref is off to check a replay on the screen...

8

CHANCE! Sergio León is bursting away onto a long pass and Militao appears to bring him down, while trying to avoid him. Free-kick on the edge of the Madrid area, while Levante players want a red card.

6

Brilliant from Hazard.

Breaking from the half-way line he drags the chasing Levante players towards the centre of the pitch and then as he looks as though he's going to strike from the edge of the area he cuts the ball to the left where Benzema is supporting.

Aitor does well to smother.

4

Benzema tries to fashion space for a cross from the inside right channel. The deflection could have made it even more dangerous but instead bounced it into the arms of Aitor.

3

Levante burst away on the break and Morales almost catches out Courtois who does enough to block. There could already be an obvious pattern forming.

1

A couple of half chance to create something in the first minute present themselves to Marco Asensio.

Starting on the right, the Spaniard broke through the tackle and tried to feed Benzema. Neither found their target.

We're off!

OK, the teams are out and we're almost set for kick-off.

Bettoni is Zidane's face

With Zidane sidelined due to covid-19, his right-hand man, David Bettoni, is on the sidelines.

He drew up Real Madrid's squad list for today's game - on the advice of Zizou, and due to the injuries was forced to turn to the reserves.

In total, four Castilla players were included in the list - apart from third choice goalkeeper Diego Altube, who is a regular feature in Zidane's lists, Antonio Blanco, Víctor Chust and Sergio Arribas have been called up.

Lost generation

The players below may be missing from the Madrid line up for a game or two but much has been made of those who have been let go completely or on loan.

Martin Odegaard reached the end of the line and ran out of patience with Real Madrid. The Norwegian cut short his loan term with Real Sociedad and his return to the Spanish capital before the 2020/21 season was a specific request from head coach Zinedine Zidane. The midfielder started in the first two games of the 2020/21 season and that was pretty much it. Injuries and covid impacted on any regularity until Real Madrid faced Celta at home on 2 January when the Norwegian was introduced with six minutes remaining.

Odegaard was slow to track back as Celta pushed and Zidane was furious with the central player and this seemed to sentence the relationship between the two individuals. In the entire season, Odegaard played 367 minutes in nine league and Champions League fixtures.

Read our look at the lost generation at Madrid.

Real Madrid-Levante: who's out

Zidane will do without both Ramos and Carvajal in his defensive line today due to injury, while ready replacement Nacho is also unavailable.

Ahead of them, Valverde, Lucas and Rodrygo cannot be called upon.

For Levante, Vukcevic, Doukoure, Campana and de Frutos are all missing from the squad due to injuries.

Keeping the door closed early

If the visitors can score before the half-time whistle today, they will be the first side to do so at the home of Madrid in 17 league games.

ABH

Asensio-Benzema-Hazard

The term ABH often refers to an assault of some kind that leaves the victim with actual bodily harm, and having these three forwards all in peak form would, in a footballing sense, do that to most opponents they face.

Unfortunately for Madridistas, that has never happened to date.

Whether due to injury or lack of match sharpness following a period out, the Galáctico stars are yet to align since Eden Hazard joined. That said, both he and his younger Spanish teammate are getting more and more time on the pitch of late, and we may get closer to their combined potential before the end of the campaign.

Levante starting XI

Aitor, Miramón, Duarte, Postigo, Clerc, Radoja, Malsa, Melero, Morales, Sergio León, Roger

Real Madrid starting XI

Courtois; Odriozola, Varane, Militao, Mendy; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Asensio, Hazard, Benzema

It appears that team news is imminent...

How it stands: Levante

With a record of 5-8-6 so far this season, the Granotas find themselves midtable, very respectably so as well.

Getting anything at the home of the champions is a bonus but they will look to other upsets that have taken place at the temporary home of Madrid, the likes of Cádiz and Alavés leaving with all three points.

Pts MP W D L
10 24 20 6 6 8
11 24 20 6 6 8
12 23 19 5 8 6
13 23 19 6 5 8
14 20 20 4 8 8

How it stands: Real Madrid

As you can see, Los Blancos come into this game knowing that if they have any chance of retaining their LaLiga title then they'll need to keep on winning.

Atlético are used to being the capital bridesmaids but are clear favourites for this season's crown.

Pts MP W D L
1 47 18 15 2 1
2 40 19 12 4 3
3 39 20 12 3 5
4 37 19 11 4 4
5 34 20 8 10 2

Levante drawing a pattern

Since the turn of the year, today's visitors have enjoyed some highs and lows. They remain in the domestic cup after their latest victory over Valladolid and in the league have been picking up plenty of single points, a pattern in this campaign.

An important win against Eibar the stand out victory over this period.

Back in action

It feels like an age since we watched Madrid run out at the Di Stefano, the last time being the 2 January. That day goals from Lucas Vázquez and Marco Asensio secured a 2-0 victory over Celta Vigo.

Since then there have been double copa disappointments amid trips to play Osasuna (0-0) and Alavés (1-4).

Madrid bound

On Friday the Levante squad and coaching staff made their way to the Spanish capital. It's a journey of around 350km but on the very efficient national rail service it's over in just a tad more than two hours.

The best way to travel in the country many would argue.

Madrid in 'good shape'

As Zinedine Zidane spoke to the media ahead of this game he was sounding positive about the players' focus and condition.

Another three points today would see Los Blancos pick up their sixth home win on the trot.

Real Madrid vs Levante: LaLiga live welcome

Hello and welcome to our build up to the Matchday 21 fixture of the LaLiga Santander calendar between Real Madrid and Levante.

You join us on a sunny day here in the Spanish capital but the drifting clouds being carried by a steady breeze ensure that the brightness is kept in check.

Stay with us as we build up to kick-off and we'll bring you all the team news, form and other points of note to get you in the mood.

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