Sunday September 11, 2011 (15.00 UK)
Diop sent off 81
Estadio El Sardinero, Santander
In something of a scrappy game in which the referee was the busiest man on the pitch, Racing Santander can consider themselves slightly fortunate to leave with a point after Papa Diop was sent off for a second bookable offence. The first half was peppered with fouls that broke the flow of the game and Jose Barkero’s saved shot was the only real highlight of a dull 45 minutes.
Levante started the second half well when Arouna Kone and Valdo both had their efforts blocked by some resolute Racing defending. Santander’s debutant striker Christian Stuani did not seem to be on the same page as his supporting forwards and struggled to get into the game. Both sides seemed to find it hard to deliver a clinical final ball, which meant the game never really had any clear-cut chances.
Santander’s Adrian Gonzalez went very close with a shot from range after some nice work from Diop, but Levante keeper Gustavo Munua looked likely to have it covered. Oscar Serrano came on for Pedro Munitis and could have made an immediate impact when he found himself 12 yards out after good work from Manuel Arana on the right hand side, but he blazed his shot over the bar.
Racing were made to sweat for the last ten minutes when Diop picked up his second yellow for a poor tackle on substitute Ruben Suarez. The Senegalese’s dismissal created some space in front of the defence that Levante exploited, leading to a flurry of chances late on. Suarez had a shot blocked, Carlos Aranda’s header sailed wide and Nabil El Zhar forced a smart stop from Ramirez, but the away side were forced to settle for a point.
Racing Santander (4-2-3-1): Ramirez; Francis, Gonzalez, Barba, Cisma; Diop, Adrian (Tziolis 78); Munitis (Serrano 71), Acosta (Ariel 80), Arana; Stuani
Unused subs: Bernardo, M. Fernandez, C. Fernandez, Luque1
Levante (4-2-3-1): Munua; Venta, Ballesteros, Nano, Juanfran; Torres, Iborra; Valdo (Aranda 62), Barkero, Juanlu (El Zhar 78); Kone (Suarez 79)
Unused subs: Pallardo, Lopez, Cabral, Navas,
Did you know… In their past four meetings, these two sides have drawn three times (via @WhoScored)