In the space of two weeks, Real Madrid have played four games and lost three. Athletic Bilbao, Alcoyano, and now Levante have all gotten the better of Zidane’s men. In today’s match vs Levante, it was a 7th minute red card to Eder Militao that helped define the match. The boys in white could only muster goal-scoring opportunities form set pieces and counter-attacks. Marco Asensio’s second goal of the season would not be enough as Levante would come back to score two unanswered goals. Full match player ratings below:
Thibaut Courtois—9: Dealt well with a miscommunication between he and Odriozola early in the match. Made a huge double save in the 24th minute after Mendy slipped on the ball and Casemiro made a rash decision to step out to the ball rather than follow Roger Marti. And of course, came up big for a penalty save — denying Roger Marti a go-ahead goal in the 67th minute.
Alvaro Odriozola—3: Had a role to play in both goals conceded. Body shape was all wrong on the first goal scored by Jose Luis Morales and the former La Real man should have been screaming at Asensio to recover at the back post. On the second goal, Odriozola got caught in two minds — he wasn’t sure if he should step out on the short corner or stay and mark Roger Marti. He ultimately decided to step out, but it was too slow and too late meaning Levante had enough time to pick out Roger Marti in the box for their game-winner. Odriozola offered very little in the attack and his crosses, usually a strength, were often overhit.
Eder Militao—3: Rightly sent off within ten minutes of the game starting for a last man foul on Sergio Leon.
Raphael Varane—5.5: Out of sync with Militao on the ball over the top from Levante which initiated the red card.
Ferland Mendy—5.5: Solid defensively — winning 5 out of his seven ground duels and completing two tackles including a crunching tackle on Melero just outside Madrid’s box. Failed to impose himself in the final third — his crosses were wayward and provided 0 key passes.
Casemiro—6.5: After the Militao red card, slotted in at center back next to Varane. Hit some inch-perfect long balls including a free kick over the top to Asensio which nearly resulted in Madrid’s second goal. Won 11 of his 12 ground duels, but on occasion made rash decisions at the center back position leaving gaping wholes behind him.
Luka Modric—7: 2 key passes, 5 out of 5 completed dribbles, and 11 of 15 ground duels won. The Croatian, along with Toni Kroos, was one of the few bright spots in this game. PLayed some lovely outside of the boot passes to release Asensio down the right flank. Only blemish from his game was the Roger Marti game-winning goal, where Modric and Odriozola failed to pass on the striker and track his off ball movement from the corner/
Toni Kroos—8: Produced a breath-taking assist, channeling his inner Luka Modric with an outside the boot pass, in between Levante’s defensive line to free Marco Asensio on a 1v1 with Aitor Fernandez. Had a game high of 3 key passes and completed two dribbles — one of the few bright spots from the match.
Marco Asensio—6.5: Scored Madrid’s only goal of the match with a composed right footed shot into the bottom corner of the net. Though, despite his positive impact in the final third, he failed to properly track back on Levante’s equalizer and left Odriozola out to dry vs Morales.
Eden Hazard—4: A ghost. Aside from one encouraging counter attack, where the Belgian glided centrally through the pitch before reversing a pass to Benzema inside the six, there was little to note of Eden’s performance.
Karim Benzema—4: Another Madrid player just not at the races today. Missed two big chances including a shot with an xG of .40 in the opening 10 minutes after a nice reverse pass from Hazard.
Vinicius JR—4: Entered the match in the 60th minute for Eden Hazard but was placed on the right wing. Quickly after coming on, gave away a needless penalty after being caught out of position. 0 shots, 0 key passes, and 0 completed dribbles. Every time it looked like Vinicius was going to be released free on the counter and use his speed, Levante fouled him.
Mariano—N/A: Entered in the 82nd minute for Karim Benzema.
Sergio Arribas—N/A: Entered in the 82nd minute for Marco Asensio.