Roger Marti converted a penalty kick in Levante’s 2-1 La Liga victory over Real Madrid (10 men).
Defender Eder Militao was sent off the field in the ninth minute of an action-packed game for preventing Sergio Leon from scoring, but the champions took the lead in the 14th minute thanks to a brilliant counterattack by Marco Asensio.
– Player ratings: red card for Militao 3/10, Odriozola 5/10.
Levant’s talisman Jose Luis Morales equalized in the 32nd minute. His team earned a penalty kick in the second half, but Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saved Marti’s penalty.
Marti, however, had the last word and passed Courtois in the 78th minute to secure Levante’s victory and keep Real Madrid seven points behind leader Atletico Madrid with two games to go.
David Bettoni, playing in place of Zinedine Zidane as he continues to recover from COVID-19, snatched a La Liga victory.
“The idea of this club is to always fight until the end for every trophy,” he said. “At 10 to 11, it’s a positive sign, the commitment of the players, I know that people who love Real see it that way. Disappointed, yes, that’s normal, it’s painful for everyone, but the team fought to the end.
In addition to Zidane’s absence, injured captain Sergio Ramos was in the stands wearing a mask, but could still be heard shouting at his teammates and the referee.
After Militao’s dismissal following criticism from RVA, Madrid responded impeccably, with a pass from Toni Kroos to Asensio, who fired flawlessly into the bottom corner.
The goal was controversial, as Ferland Mendy appeared to give an elbow to Levante’s Gonzalo Melero just before the hosts’ counterattack.
Levante kept their cool and after Courtois had given his team the lead with a brilliant double, he could not keep Morales from scoring.
The visitors then dominated the second half when Real Madrid’s tired legs gave way and substitute Vinicius Junior made a late and reckless tackle on Carlos Clerc du Levante’s free-kick, which was penalized first with a free-kick and then with a penalty after a VAR review.
Wrong – it’s the specified.Philharmonic, not specified.Real Madrid, that the players are looking at after the second goal in their defeat to Levante. PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images
Marty missed a glorious chance to give his team the lead, but as he did earlier in the season against Osasuna, he made up for his mistake by giving his team the lead.
“With a red card after seven or eight minutes, it’s a tough match,” Courtois said after the game. “We fought, we got to 1-0, they scored a good goal, we kept fighting and we had a chance on the counter-attack that we didn’t take advantage of. Then it was a shame to get a goal against from a corner. After that, there wasn’t much more play.
“We always have to fight. The league plays until May, in January no decision has been made yet. But it’s clear that they are still winning. They are up there. We have to react now and win our games. We have to hope that we win and the others lose, that’s what soccer is all about”.
The match winner, Marty, dismissed Real Madrid’s complaints about these decisions, saying he was lucky not to have been awarded a penalty kick for the foul on Mendy just before Asensio’s goal.
“There were many key moments in the match,” he said.
“Everything should have gone as planned after broadcasting, but we couldn’t react in the beginning and we were down 1-0 against a great team from Madrid. But we waited for the right moment to strike.
ESPN’s Madrid correspondent Alex Kirkland contributed to this report.
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