REAL MADRID

Vinicius rescues draw for Real Madrid at Levante after collapse

Ancelotti took off Bale, Hazard and Isco moments after the goal and substitute Vinicius made the difference, levelling in the 73rd minute with a coolly taken finish.

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Vinicius rescues draw for Real Madrid at Levante after collapse
DAVID GONZALEZ DIARIO AS

Gareth Bale scored his first goal in almost two years for Real Madrid in LaLiga on Sunday but substitute Vinicius stole the show with two late strikes to grab a 3-3 draw at Levante in a game that had it all.

Real got off to a fine start in the fifth minute when Bale finished off a cut-back by Karim Benzema and nearly grabbed another goal with a ferocious free kick which fizzed just wide as Carlo Ancelotti's side dominated the first half.

Levante take the lead

But they found themselves 2-1 down early in the second period after a remarkable transformation from Levante, who were playing for the first time in front of fans at their renovated Ciutat de Valencia stadium.

Levante striker Roger Marti beat Thibaut Courtois to level just after the interval before José Campaña put the hosts in front with a sensational volley in the 57th.

Ancelotti took off Bale, Eden Hazard and Isco moments after the goal and substitute Vinicius made the difference, levelling in the 73rd minute with a coolly taken finish following a defence-splitting through ball from deep by Casemiro.

Levante restored their lead in the 79th though Rober Pier following a free kick and were inches away from grabbing a fourth when Alejandro Cantero struck the far post on another rapid counter-attack.

Vinicius saves Madrid's blushes

But Vinicius again came to Real's rescue, levelling in the 85th minute with an audacious effort take came off the post before going in from a tight angle.

More chaos was to come as Levante keeper Aitor Fernández was sent off for flying out of his area and handling the ball to stop a Real counter, leaving defender Rubén Vezo to don the gloves and protect the goal for the remaining few minutes.

Ancelotti furious

Madrid boss Ancelotti was furious with his side's drop in intensity after the break.

"We had everything under control but we're very soft in the second half, that's not what you expect from Real Madrid. We threw away two points today," said the Italian.

"It's difficult to explain, I told the players that any small detail can cost you the game and that's what happened. We leave here with a bad taste because we should have got more than a point after our brilliant first-half performance."

Levante rue missed chances

Levante also felt they got less than they deserved.

"We're a brave team that goes looking for our opponents in their own half," said Campaña.

"They didn't finish us off in the first half and we showed our best football in the second. We were very comfortable on the counter-attack and could have killed the game.

"But when you let Real off the hook you always end up paying for it. But overall a point is very good seeing how much pressure they put us under."