Sunday September 18, 2011 (19.00 UK)
br>, Kone 68
Khedira sent off 50
Estadio Ciudad de Valencia – Valencia
In a game marred by petulant behaviour and play acting, Real Madrid lost to Levante dropping three vital points and allowing Barcelona the chance to already establish a lead after their terrific win against Osasuna.
In a match that seemed to resemble the goalless draw played out in this stadium last season, Levante appeared happy to stifle play and interrupt the visitor’s game in a bid to achieve at least a point. Their plan worked but football suffered.
Constantly interrupted by the referee’s whistle due to the incredible amount of fouls committed, Mourinho’s side that had been rotated, struggled to maintain their rhythm after an excellent start to the game. With one case of play acting and the ensuing fight going too far, Sami Khedira was sent off for another yellow card and Real were down to 10 men.
Losing Khedira essentially lost them the game as the German is the ideal man to close down space and run endlessly to allow Xabi Alonso his opportunity to dictate the midfield. Without him and with Coentrao losing his focus, Real were exposed and Levante found the back of the net with a clever counter-attack.
Despite retaining the majority of possession, los blancos failed to create many chances and Levante just grew in determination and confidence. Their hard fought win sends a clear signal – this league is more than just about Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Levante (4-2-3-1): Munua; Venta, Ballesteros, Nano, Juanfran; Torres, Iborra; Valdo, Barkero (Suarez 81), Juanlu (Juanlu 85); Kone (Aranda 83)
Unused subs: Navas, Horno, Lopez, Zhar
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Ramos, Pepe, Carvalho, Marcelo (Ozil 70); Khedira, Alonso; Di Maria, Kaka (Higuain 59), Coentrao; Benzema (Ronaldo 45)
Unused subs: Adan, Arbeloa, Callejon, Diarra
Did you know…This is the first ever defeat Real Madrid have suffered away to Levante in the Primera Division.