Result: Real Madrid 1-2 Levante
Date: 30 January 2021
Venue: Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid failed to close the gap on leaders Atletico Madrid after falling to a 2-1 defeat to Levante at home on Saturday evening.
Real had their manager Zinedine Zidane back on the sidelines for this game after he missed last weekend's 4-1 win over Alaves after testing positive for coronavirus.
He made one change from the side which started in the 4-1 victory over Alaves last weekend, with the injured Lucas Vazquez replaced by Alvaro Odriozola in defence.
Real broke swiftly on the counter-attack in the seventh minute but Karim Benzema couldn't produce the finish following a great run by Eden Hazard.
Los Blancos were reduced to 10 men in the 10th minute. Levante forward Sergio Leon left the Real defence behind and Eder Militao brought him down on the edge of the box just as it looked like Leon would pull the trigger with the referee showing Militao a straight red card as he was the last man.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Real took the lead three minutes later. A wonderful through-ball from Toni Kroos set Marco Asensio away from inside his own half and a cool finish with his right foot sent Real Madrid ahead.
Thibaut Courtois was then forced into action to deny Roger Marti, after Ferland Mendy gave the ball away on the left.
The visitors equalised in the 34th minute. Levante built nicely and Jose Luis Morales caught the ball sweetly from Jorge Miramon's cross, sending his shot across Thibaut Courtois and into the opposite side of the goal.
Benzema had a huge opportunity in the 53rd minute, as Toni Kroos slotted the ball through to Benzema just to the left of goal, but the Frenchman produced a weak shot that travelled across the goalmouth.
Levante were awarded a penalty for a foul on Carlos Clerc by Vinicius Junior in the 62nd minute but it was missed as Roger Marti's strike was pretty central and the perfect height for Courtois to get a strong hand to.
Roger Marti made amends for his penalty miss when Real failed to deal with a corner and the ball dropped for Marti, who sent a powerful low strike beyond the reach of Courtois.
Levante knocked the ball around as they ran down the clock down against a tiring ten-man Real Madrid to secure the three points.
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