Eder Militao saw a red card within ten minutes of kickoff while Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard were ineffective as Real Madrid lost 2-1 to Levante on Saturday.
Real Madrid were off to the worst start possible as defender Eder Militao was sent off just eight minutes into the game, after a clumsy challenge to deny Sergio Leon a goalscoring opportunity. However, the hosts rallied back and were in front in the 13th minute, with Marco Asensio finding the back of the net after a brilliant pass by Toni Kroos.
Levante, however, struck back just after the half-hour mark courtesy a first-time hit from Jose Luis Morales. The visitors had plenty of chances to go in front, but were time and again denied by Thibaut Courtois, who even stopped a second half penalty from Roger Marti after substitute Vinicius Junior had fouled Carlos Clerc.
However, the Belgian was finally beaten in the 78th minute when Marti fired the ball into the back of the net after being found by Enis Bardhi to condemn Real Madrid to a shock 2-1 defeat.
The result will now allow Atletico Madrid to stretch their lead at the top of the table to ten points, that too with a game in hand. Here’s how we rated the performances of the Real Madrid stars in what was another disappointing outing.
Thibaut Courtois: 8/10
Not a lot that the Belgian international could do to keep out either of Levante’s goals. But did brilliantly in between to keep Real Madrid in the game, making as many as six saves on the evening, including one to deny Roger Marti from the penalty spot. With his team a player down, he had to sweep up long balls on numerous occasions which he did to good effect.
6 – Thibaut Courtois 🇧🇪 has made six saves against Levante, including his second penalty for Real Madrid in LaLiga, more than in any other game for the Whites in the competition. Effort. pic.twitter.com/eJpLKHPCtA
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 30, 2021
Alvaro Odriozola: 4/10
Handed a rare start in La Liga in the injury-enforced absence of Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez, Odriozola failed to make the most of his opportunity. Got caught out for Levante’s equaliser in the first period and constantly left his flank exposed, despite knowing that his team were a man down. Did make a few tackles and interceptions, but it was clear as to why Zidane uses him so sparingly.
Raphael Varane: 5/10
The man leading the Real Madrid defence in the absence of Sergio Ramos, Varane should have done better to cover his partner in the moment leading up to his sending off in the first half. Found it hard to keep Roger Marti quiet by himself, although he did produce a few key blocks and clearances.
Eder Militao: 2/10
Entrusted with another start in the absence of Ramos and Nacho, the Brazilian’s poor positioning meant Sergio Leon got the better of him which led to him making a clumsy foul to deny the Levante man a clear goalscoring opportunity. And after consultation with VAR, he was shown the red card, just eight minutes into the game. Let his team down poorly.
— MARCA in English (@MARCAinENGLISH) January 30, 2021
Ferland Mendy: 5/10
A rather nervy performance from the Frenchman, who was guilty of giving away possession in dangerous positions on a few occasions while he did not offer a great deal on the overlap either. Did make a couple of tackles and an interception, but a sub-par display in general.
Luka Modric: 6/10
Tried to make things happen for Real Madrid when on the ball as he completed four dribbles and two key passes. Made a few good runs and tried his luck from distance, but a quiet outing from the veteran midfielder compared to his usual level.
Had to drop into the backline following Militao’s sending off and did his bit fairly well, although he was partly culpable for the equalising goal in the first period. Made a game-high seven tackles and stepped forward when on the ball. Booked late in the game.
Toni Kroos: 7/10
Played a sensational pass to set Asensio up for the opening goal in the first half. Kept things ticking in his usual manner in the middle of the park, completing 95% of his passes, that included three key passes. Put in the hard yards off the ball.
Casemiro: "Real Madrid matches always go in Kroos' rhythm. If Toni wants to play slowly, we play slowly. If he wants us to play quicker, we play quicker."
This is Toni's world, we're just living in it. 🐐 pic.twitter.com/SzvLceeI4t
— Adithya (@BrownnBlanco) January 30, 2021
Marco Asensio: 7/10
Took his goal very well after being played in by Kroos and could have had a second after a brilliant piece of control to bring the ball under his spell, but was blocked by the Levante goalkeeper. Created a chance for Karim Benzema before being taken off late on.
Karim Benzema: 5/10
Made a lively start, as he went on a couple of nice runs forward, but drifted out of the game with time. Did not have a lot of chances come his way and produced a poor finish when one opportunity did fall to him. Surprisingly was taken off late on despite Real Madrid in need of a goal.
Eden Hazard: 5/10
After his heroics against Alaves, a lot was expected of the Belgian wing-wizard. However, Hazard could not get himself involved in the game as much as he would have liked. Had to drop deep time and again to get on the ball, which cut into his effectiveness at the top. Made one key pass before being taken off for Vinicius Jr.
Vinicius Junior: 4/10
Vinicius Jr came into the pitch feeling dangerous today 💥💥💥
– Made a penalty in his first play 😱😱😅😲
– Left Roger alone in Levante's second goal 😳😳😆 (doesn't care about defense 😂😂🇧🇷🇧🇷)
– Failed three 1on1 dribbles against Clerc (below average defender) 😁😁😅😅💥
— Nupy (@Nupako_) January 30, 2021
Came on for Hazard at the hour mark. Gave away a penalty soon after coming on and produced little of note in the final third.
Sergio Arribas: N/A
Replaced Asensio in the 82nd minute. Did not do much of note.
Mariano Diaz: N/A
On for Benzema with less than ten minutes left.