La Liga news - Roger stuns ten-man Real as Levante put big dent in Madrid's title hopes
La Liga, Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano – Real Madrid 1 (Asensio 13’) Levante 2 (Luis Morales 32’, Roger 79’)
Levante's Spanish forward Roger Marti (2L) is congratulated after scoring his team's second goal during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF against Levante UD at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium in Valdebebas, on the outskirts of Madrid on Janu
Real Madrid fell to a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Levante after being reduced to 10 men just eight minutes into the La Liga fixture.
Zinedine Zidane’s assistant David Bettoni took his place in the dugout for a second match after the Real Madrid boss tested positive for Covid-19 with Alvaro Odriozola handed a rare start at right back.
The hosts started well, but were reduced to 10 men when Eder Militao was adjudged to have brought down Sergio Leon as the last man. It was Real Madrid who took the lead, though, with Marco Asensio bursting through to finish on the counter attack.
Referee David Medie Jimenez awards Eder Militao of Real Madrid a red card during the La Liga Santander match between Real Madrid and Levante UD at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on January 30, 2021 in Madrid, Spain.
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Levante drew themselves level just after the half-hour mark when Jose Luis Morales met a cross to the back post on the half volley brilliantly, with Real Madrid’s lack of a man at the back exposed.
A foul by Vinicius Junior seconds after his introduction off the bench gave Levante the chance to take the lead from the spot, but Thibaut Courtois made the save to stop Roger Martin’s poorly taken penalty kick.
Roger, however, made amends 12 minutes from the end, controlling an Enis Bardhi pass into the box and firing a snap-shot finish past Courtois who could do nothing to stop the Levante forward this time.
The result sees Real Madrid fail to close the gap on Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga with the difference still seven points. And Diego Simeone’s side will have the chance to stretch their advantage even further with two games in hand.
TALKING POINT - Was this Eder Militao’s last chance for Real Madrid?
Militao has struggled for form to such an extent this season that the Brazilian was viewed to have dropped down the pecking order behind Nacho Fernandez. This, however, was an opportunity for the former Porto defender to prove his worth. He only got nine minutes to make an impression, though, with Militao shown a straight red card for bringing down Leon as the last man. Was this the last chance he’ll get for Real Madrid? Might Militao be on the way out at the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer? His recklessness cost his team here.
Real Madrid's Brazilian defender Eder Militao (L) vies with Levante's Spanish forward Sergio Leon during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF against Levante UD at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium in Valdebebas, on the outskirts of Madrid on Jan
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MAN OF THE MATCH - Roger Marti (Levante)
He might have had a penalty kick saved by Courtois, but Roger was still the main man for Levante in what was a famous away win against the Spanish champions. The 30-year-old showed what he was made of by scoring what proved to the match winner after failing from the 12-yard spot. Real Madrid struggled to deal with the Levante centre forward throughout. Roger was the one who looked most likely to make a difference for the away side and that’s what he did.
Roger of Levante UD celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the La Liga Santander match between Real Madrid and Levante UD at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on January 30, 2021 in Madrid, Spain.
9’ SENT OFF! The referee has taken a look at the footage on the TV screen and he has reversed his yellow card decision - Militao has been sent off for bringing down Leon as he burst in behind!
13’ GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Levante: The 10 men of Real Madrid have taken the lead and what a goal that was by Asensio! The Spanish champions broke on the rapid counter attack, the pass was played through by Kroos and Asensio burst through to find the bottom corner!
32’ GOAL! Real Madrid 1-1 Levante: What a brilliant finish and Levante are back on level terms! The cross from the right wing found Morales at the back post, he was completely free and unmarked and found the back of the Real Madrid net with an excellent first time finish!
63’ PENALTY KICK TO LEVANTE! Vinicius has only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes, but he has given away a spot kick for a foul on Clerc! VAR spotted that it was on the line!
64’ PENALTY SAVED! What a stop by Courtois to prevent Roger from finding the back of the net from 12 yards out! It was a great diving save by the Real Madrid goalkeeper! Still level!
Real Madrid's Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois stops a penalty kick during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF against Levante UD at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium in Valdebebas, on the outskirts of Madrid on January 30, 2021
Image credit: Getty Images
78’ GOAL! Real Madrid 1-2 Levante: Levante have the lead and it's Roger who has found the back of the net! Real Madrid fall asleep at a short corner, the ball is passed into Roger by Bardhi and the Levante striker takes the touch and fires home the snap-shot finish!
Toni Kroos has contributed three assists in his last two games for Real Madrid, as many as in his previous 42 games.
Jose Luis Morales became just the second player to have scored in different La Liga games against Real Madrid since the start of 2020.