Real Madrid were sensationally held to a 2-2 draw with Levante in La Liga action on Saturday night.
- Ramos on target on 11′
- Boateng levels on 42′
- Isco off the bench to score on 81′
- Pazzini’s first La Liga goal on 89′
Levante 2 Real Madrid 2
Levante impressed in parts but Real Madrid will be livid for not taking home all three points from the Estadio Ciudad de Valencia.
Sergio Ramos opened the scoring and Isco regained Real’s lead after a goal at the end of the first-half from Emmanuel Boateng, but Giampaolo Pazzini scored late on to claim a share of the spoils.
Levante were straight out of the blocks with several long balls forward followed by some high-tempo pressing as they tried to unsettle the Real Madrid defence
Karim Benzema was then closed down quickly at the other end before a jinking Jose Luis Morales was dispossessed by Sergio Ramos following another Levante foray forward.
Marcelo fired a sixth minute shot over the target as Real began to find their stride, having connected to Daniel Carvajal cross.
Jefferson Lerma’s then saw his goalbound shot blocked after picking up a pass from the lively Morales before Benzema’s 11th minute shot was deflected wide.
But the visitors were soon in the lead, in the 11th minute as Ramos headed home his 50th league goal for Real, having connected to a Toni Kroos corner, after Benzema had attacked the ball and distracted Levante goalkeeper Oier.
— Cheick Doukouré (@Doukoure_off) February 3, 2018
Zinedine Zidane’s side were buoyed by the goal and may have scored again through Cristiano Ronaldo but he fired high and wide from a Benzema pass from the left of the pitch.
Ronaldo was in again moments later as he connected to a Gareth Bale cross from the left, but his chip over the onrushing Oier flew just over the crossbar.
Oier got away with dropping a Kroos curler at the feet of Ronaldo, to block the rebound, and despite dominating the first-half after starting slowly, Real soon found themselves pegged back as Levante equalised against the run of play, just before half-time.
Morales got away from Ramos and drew Real keeper Keylor Navas who could only deflect the ball into the path of Emmanuel Boateng to calmly slot home.
Ivi Lopez was off target with an early second-half effort as Levante looked to start the second half in the same way as the first.
The Spanish champions were quickly into their stride though as first Marcelo had a shot blocked ahead of a number of set-pieces and a crucial block from Cheick Doucoure to deny Ronaldo after he had been set up by Carvajal.
— Real Madrid C.F.?? (@realmadriden) February 3, 2018
Levante were quickly up the other end though and Navas made a fine save to deny Lerma, ahead of a period of end-to-end action that saw Oier cling on to a looped delivery before a dangerous cross from Morales, and a solid stop from Oier to hold onto a Ronaldo effort from the edge of the area.
The high tempo was unrelenting as Oier denied second-half substitute Isco ahead of a number of half chances for both sides, with Ronaldo losing out when trying to make space for a shot before Navas gathered ahead of Luna.
But the earlier introduction of Isco, for Bale, paid dividends nine minutes from time as the substitute fired low and hard past Oier after collecting a ball from Benzema.
Levante really should have been level on 87 minute but Roger Marti somehow contrived to head wide a Morales cross.
However, Giampaolo Pazzini, who had replaced Lopez on 77 minutes, was more than happy to take the plaudits as he fired in his first La Liga goal with 89 minutes on the clock, much to the delight of the home fans.
Luka Modric came close to finding a winner with in the dying minutes but nodded Lucas Vasquez’s cross wide as the game ended all square.