4 reasons why Real Madrid lost to Levante at the Bernabeu
Real Madrid is in dire crises at the moment, only five months on from winning their third consecutive UEFA Champions League crown in a row, Los Blancos find themselves out of sorts and are struggling with injuries, form, and goals, sitting fifth on the LaLiga standings four points behind table-toppers and eternal rivals Barcelona.
Heading into matchday 8 of LaLiga, Real Madrid would have looked to bounce back from their disappointing performances prior to the international break, which saw them fail to get a victory in four straight matches in all competitions, and, more worryingly, their inability to find the net in each of those matches, posting three shock losses to Sevilla, CSKA Moscow and CD Alaves, while drawing goalless with Atletico at the Bernabeu.
Their opponents were relegation-threatened Levante, who visited the Bernabeu sitting in 18th place and looking sure candidates to be demoted to the Segunda come the end of the season, so very few people would have expected anything other than a routine victory for Real Madrid, but the script went horribly off plan.
Being out of form is a terrible situation in football, and when a club or player experiences a loss in form, they struggle to maintain their usual high standards, so it, therefore, came as not much of a surprise when Real Madrid found themselves two goals down inside 13 minutes of the first half.
Despite rallying to pull a goal back in the second half, the damage had been done and ensured that Real Madrid’s woeful run of late continued and mounted the pressure manager Julen Lopetegui. The defeat to Levante at the Bernabeu was totally unexpected, and here are four reasons why Real Madrid lost the game.
#4 Their defenders failed to cover themselves in glory
It has long since been an established fact that Real Madrid has a very porous defence, as the club struggles to keep clean sheets even against the lowest of opponents, and this is rather appalling for a club the stature of the Bernabeu outfit.
Against Levante however, their defensive shenanigans reached new lows, as both goals scored by the visitors were traceable to defensive lapses.
Firstly, World Cup winner Raphael Varane belied his world-class status when he made a hash of his clearance in the 6th minute, giving Jose Luis Morales a clean run at goal and the 31-year-old made no mistake when presented with the chance, calmly gliding the ball past a hapless Thibaut Courtois before slotting into an empty net.
Just six minutes later, and Varane once more found himself in the middle of a storm as he handled the ball while holding off a Levante attacker, and the referee was left with no option but to point to the spot after consultations with VAR.
Beyond the two errors by Varane, the Real defence was all over the place throughout the match, particularly in the first half when the Levante attackers particularly Jose Morales had a field day, as Ramos and co struggled to hold their lines.
For a club possessing defenders of the highest quality who were each nominated as the starting center-backs in the FIFPro XI to have been exposed in the manner they were by a lowly club like Levante was disappointing, and moving ahead, the leaky defense of Real Madrid is an issue which Lopetegui or any manager who might replace him would have to work on.