Real Madrid finally ended their record goalscoring drought in a 2 – 1 home defeat against Levante.
— Real Madrid C.F.⚽ (@realmadrid) October 20, 2018
Real Madrid worsened the strain on new head coach Julen Lopetegui fell to their fourth defeat in five games with a shock 2-1 defeat to Levante at the Santiago Bernabeu. Los Blancos broke an undesired club record, set back in 1985, of 464 minutes without scoring through Marcelo‘s late strike.
Julen Lopetegui’s future was already being discussed following shocking losses to CSKA Moscow and Alaves just before the international break.
Jose Luis Morales scored the opener just seven minutes into the game after a defensive error from Raphael Varane which let the striker round off Thibaut Courtois and fire into the empty net.
The World Cup Winner was again guilty as Levante doubled their lead after a careless handball by the Real defender was initially given as a free-kick on the edge of the box but referee Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez changed his decision to a penalty after a consultation with the Video Assistant Referee. Roger Marti made it 2-0 from the spot soon after in the 13th minute.
Madrid thought they had made a speedy return when skipper Sergio Ramos headed a ball off the crossbar and Marco Asensio jumped at the opportunity. But VAR once again proved to be a catalyst of their downfall as it showed the Spanish attacker to be offside as Ramos headed the ball.
Real persisted to create a number of chances, with the new number 7 Mariano Diaz striking a header against the bar and Lucas Vazquez denied by an excellent save from the Levante stopper Oier Olazabal.
Levante seemed to have added a third before the break but Ruben Rochina‘s tap-in was discarded as Tono found himself offside before putting in a cross.
🆚 @LevanteUD loss
⚽ Early goals
🏟 Backing of the fans
❓ The dressing room
Hear what Lopetegui said following this afternoon's defeat at the Bernabéu. 💬👇https://t.co/0JIZpOGVtK
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) October 20, 2018
Gareth Bale came in for Alvaro Odriozola at the start of the second half as Real looked determined to find their way back. Luka Modric came close to firing one in but the Levante stopper came to the rescue once again pushing away the Croatian’s strike from inside the box.
Karim Benzema and Dani Ceballos came on to replace Spanish duo Isco and Asensio. The French striker was made a profound impact soon after coming on as Real Madrid finally ended the goal drought at 481 minutes, through Marcelo who smashed the ball into the roof of the net the after a cutback from Benzema in the 72nd minute.
Karim Benzema appeared to be a game changer as he spearheaded numerous attacks, almost scoring the equalizer but saw his shot from the outside the box hit the woodwork. Mariano then tucked home but saw the offside flag correctly raised, as Real’s hopeless attempts proved in vain as the home fans jeered at full-time.
Real host FC Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League before traveling to Camp Nou for the world famous El Clasico tie on 28th October.