Real Madrid drop points again after Morales screamer
Real Madrid dropped points for the second week running after going down 1-0 away to Levante just six days after drawing 2-2 at home to Celta Vigo. Five points dropped which leave them two points behind arch rivals Barcelona. To make things worse, Eden Hazard was forced off injured halfway through the second half.
The game looked to be heading for a 0-0 draw until Jose Luis Morales scored in the 79th minute after running onto a Vukcevic pass from midfield and firing home with his left foot. Real Madrid once again paid the penalty for lacking the killer touch in the final third and it is a concern ahead of Wednesday's Champions League match with Manchester City.
Zidane's men were the better team in the first half, but they had few clear cut chances and when they did come around, they could not take advantage of them. Benzema was one on one with the keeper in the 11th minute after a great pass by Isco, but Aitor Fernandez in the goal made a top save. Five minutes later, an error by Fernandez from a corner allowed Casemiro to head towards an open goal, but he was unable to find the target.
The only other opportunity was when Modric's 25 yard strike was knocked away by the goalie and Levante deserved to go in 0-0 at the break. Paco Lopez's men did not really threaten in the opening 45, but they did give it a go and Real had to deal with balls into the box like when Tono's ball in was dealt with by Varane or when Morales was stopped on one occasion. In the second period, things did not get any better for 'Los Blancos'.
In fact, Enis Bardhi could have scored in the 48th minute, but he hit wide of the goal. Just before that, there was a controversial moment when a Casemiro header hit Campaña's right arm. The officials deemed it not to be a penalty much to the disappointment of Real Madrid. Replays showed it could have been given and had the ball struck his left arm, it would have definitely been given.
Five minutes later, Real should have hit the front when Marcelo played in Hazard, but he took a few touches and saw his poor effort saved. It summed up their night and in the 67th minute, Eden Hazard had to go off injured after picking up a knock and he was replaced by Vinicius.
The game looked to be heading for a 0-0 as Levante were not causing Madrid too many problems. Roger had a pop at goal on the hour mark when he should have passed for a teammate, However, 11 minutes from time, Levante, after a decent spell of possession, took the lead. A long pass by Vukcevic went to Morales inside the box and he hit a left footed strike into the net. Marcelo claimed for offside, but the goal was perfectly legal.
Real Madrid threw everyone forward in the last 10 minutes looking for an equaliser, but despite winning a few corners, the goalkeeper was largely untroubled. The best chance came when Vinicius ran in from the far side, he squared for Benzema and as he was about to score, Postigo dived in to deflect it behind. It was not enough though and when Valverde saw his shot cleared right at the end, the referee blew his whistle to give Levante a famous win.
Madrid's miserable week has seen them drop five points in their last two matches against Celta and Levante, cost them first spot in the league and has seen Eden Hazard go off injured. The worst possible way to go into the Champions League first leg tie with Manchester City on Wednesday. For Levante, it is a famous night and they have now beaten both Madrid and Barcelona at home this season. Levante are in 10th on 32 points comfortably in mid table.