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Immediate Reaction: Real Madrid 1 - 2 Levante; Liga F

Abysmal performance filled with even worse decisions.

Real Madrid v Levante UD - Liga F Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images,

First loss of the season comes against Levante. The Granotas beat Las Blancas 1-2 on Alfredo Di Stefano. Below are my views and thoughts on the match.

The lineup Alberto Toril decided on for this match was beyond questionable. He put three center backs to form the line of three at the back where Olga was supposed to be a left back joining them in defense, at least on paper. Toletti, Teresa and Zornoza formed the midfield with Feller and Linda on the sides acting as wingbacks and Bruun was leading the attack.

The first half was full of nothing. The pass accuracy was low, it started from around 55% in the first 10 minutes and rose to 70% until the end of the first half. Levante also had high possession, it being around 75% in the first 30 minutes when Las Blancas could barely get to the ball. In 12’ the first corner of the match ended in a goal. With the ball sent into the box, there was a confusion created and at the end of it, Paula Fernandez managed to push the ball in and give Levante a 0-1 lead.

Despite the conceded goal, Real Madrid didn’t change anything in their game until the halftime whistle. The passes got slightly more precise but aside from that, there was nothing else. One more important note, that goes for the whole match, is that there were a few questionable refereeing decisions. In the first half there was a penalty shout when Linda got tripped by Levante’s goalkeeper in the box, and later on in the game there were a few wrongfully given offsides to both teams.

Despite Real Madrid desperately needing a fullback, there were no changes at halftime, and the coach never brought in a fullback. Svava and Oihane were seen warming up but were never brought on. Olga, who was the only fullback on pitch, didn’t even act as one. She would operate more centrally than on her own position. Goes the same for Ivana who was seen going too much up front and it was a result of the lack of right backs on the pitch.

Nevertheless, the second half did start on a different note, despite no changes. La Blancas were looking fresher and more determined, and from that came the equalizer.

50’ GOAL by Linda Caicedo (1-1)! Toletti sent the opening pass to Olga on the left who then sent a cross in, finding perfectly positioned Linda in the box.

As the game went on, that freshness faded out. However, the substitution in 54’ which was Athenea coming on for Bruun, didn’t help much in regenerating it. The rain became stronger as the second half went on and both teams got more physical and even more frustrated. The last 15-20 minutes of the encounter turned into what the first half was like, just with a slightly higher pass accuracy from Real Madrid.

In 67’ Levante scored another goal to keep them in lead. Another one from the corner where Andonova’s cross found Gabi Nunes’s head and made no mistakes there.

Toril tried to fix the result by bringing on more attacking players - Raso for Teresa in 69’ and then Camacho for Ivana in 87’ to try and fix the issue in the center of the attack. Unfortunately for Las Blancas, that didn’t work and Levante kept the lead until the end.

First loss of the season after 5 won league games. This leaves Barcelona and Levante as the only unbeaten teams in Spain.

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