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Levante vs Real Madrid, 2021 La Liga: Immediate Reaction

A very convincing game from Real Madrid (for the first half). An abysmal defensive performance (for the second half).

Levante UD v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images
  • A tale of two halves and an abysmal defending. Real Madrid were brilliant the first 45 minutes and then Levante caught them off-guard and found the equalizer right after the referee whistled the start of the second half. Madrid trailed 2-1 and struggled a lot after that point, and while they put the 2-2 on the scoreboard off a great Vinicius goal, a poor defensive play by David Alaba on a set piece gave Levante the 3-2 lead. Madrid never looked convincing after that, other than a great showing from Vinicius.
  • Has Vinicius found his mojo inside the box? His two goals were not good, they were excellent. He has scored three goals in just two games off the bench. If he can play with this confidence, the sky is the limit.
  • Isco masterclass. The Spanish midfielder completed a dominant performance, controlling the tempo of the game, distributing the ball and dribbling past opponents at will. This version of Isco as a central midfielder is the one Ancelotti was used to during his first tenure in Madrid. If he can stay healthy and engaged throughout the season, Ancelotti will just have to find him minutes because he simply was world-class today.
  • Madrid should have at least tested Vezo once during the final minutes. As soon as goalkeeper Andres Fernandez was sent off and Levante were out of substitutions, Madrid should have focused on shooting instead of creating quality chances. Vezo didn’t have to make a single save and Los Blancos lost two points they should have won.
  • IT’S GREAT TO BE BACK. This was the first game I covered at the stadium since the pandemic and seeing the crowd in the stands and the atmosphere was very emotional. Levante played Ennio Morricone’s L’Estassi Dell’Oro as the two teams walked to the pitch and I couldn’t help it. The Spanish government only allows 40% of the capacity right now, but real football is back and it’s so, so good.