Isco and Marcelo were the only positives while Eden Hazard picked up another injury as Real Madrid lost 1-0 to Levante at Ciutat de Valencia on Saturday.
Real Madrid’s unbeaten run in La Liga came to an end on Saturday night, as they were beaten 1-0 by Levante at Ciutat de Valencia, courtesy a late strike from Jose Luis Morales.
Real Madrid dominated the proceedings for most parts, but were unable to make the most of their control due to a combination of poor finishing and some dogged defending from the home team. And having managed to hold the Spanish capital club till the 80th minute, Levante struck the killer blow through captain Morales to condemn Zinedine Zidane’s side to a shock defeat.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) February 22, 2020
The result, coupled with Barcelona’s 5-0 triumph over Eibar earlier in the day, meant Real Madrid find themselves two points behind their arch-rivals in the table heading into El Clasico next week. And here, The Hard Tackle runs the rule over the performances of Los Blancos’ stars on the night.
Thibaut Courtois: 5/10
Had nothing to do in the first half, with Real Madrid dominating possession. Made a good stop from Jose Campana early in the second period, but stood rooted to his spot and failed to react to Morales’ brilliantly struck goal. Never a pleasing sight for a goalkeeper to be beaten at his near post.
Dani Carvajal: 6/10
Combined well with the likes of Isco and Luka Modric in the right-side channel, but was unable to back it up with meaningful end product on the night. Had a tricky test against the wily Enis Bardhi, but defended well for majority of the game.
Raphael Varane: 6/10
Solid for most parts, the Frenchman was guilty of playing Jose Luis Morales onside in the lead-up to Levante’s only goal on the night. Didn’t have a lot to do otherwise, with his side on the front foot for most of the game.
Sergio Ramos: 6.5/10
Booked very early in the game which meant the Real Madrid captain was walking a defensive tightrope for the rest of the night. However, he kept his discipline and defended fairly solidly against the dangerous Roger Marti. His distribution from the back was precise and helped Madrid launch attacks, although they amounted for little.
Once again preferred over Ferland Mendy, the Brazilian was a constant menace to the hosts with his forward forays. Had plenty of space to bomb into, with Eden Hazard cutting inside from the left and he made the most of it. Linked well with the Belgian and Karim Benzema throughout, with a sensational through ball to create a chance for the former in the second period being a major highlight.
Luka Modric: 6.5/10
Handed a start in midfield ahead of Federico Valverde, the Croat started off brightly, breaking the lines with his dribbling while being sharp and smart in his distribution. Fired over after being found by Isco in the first half and then had an effort saved after the break. Worked hard, but was unable to influence the outcome of the game.
Solid and reliable as ever in the middle of the park, making a game-high four interceptions on the night. Wasn’t able to make much of an impact going forward, though, and missed a great chance in the first period, heading wide after a loose punch from the Levante goalkeeper fell kindly to him. Booked.
Toni Kroos: 5.5/10
While the German did little wrong, he was unable to influence the proceedings like he usually does, which hurt Real Madrid on the night. Made just a solitary key pass in the game when Zidane’s men needed him to be at his creative best to break open the hosts.
Easily one of the brightest players on the field for Real Madrid against Levante. All of Real Madrid’s best moves, especially in the first half, went through Isco as he looked the most likely to carve open the hosts’ defence. The Spaniard created two great chances for Karim Benzema, while also setting Modric up for a chance before being subbed off in the 73rd minute.
Karim Benzema: 5/10
The Frenchman’s recent poor run in front of goal continued on Saturday. Missed a couple of great chances in the first half when he found himself 1v1 with the goalkeeper after being played in by Isco. Spurned another promising opportunity after being found by Vinicius Junior late on. Has scored just once in his last nine league matches now, leaving Real Madrid worried.
Eden Hazard: 6/10
The Belgian wing-wizard looked bright each time he was on the ball, running at the Levante defence with confidence. However, the final ball was lacking on the night. Hazard missed a great chance after being sent through by Marcelo in the second half. Subbed off soon after with another injury, which will be a major concern for Real Madrid with games against Manchester City and Barcelona looming.
Vinicius Junior: 6/10
Came on for the injured Hazard in the 67th minute. Created a chance for Benzema, but the Frenchman failed to convert.
Lucas Vazquez: 5/10
Replaced Isco with less than twenty minutes left on the clock. Did not make much of a difference.
Federico Valverde: N/A
Thrown on in place of Modric in the 81st minute.