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09.09.2017 » Real Madrid 1-1 Levante. Too much rotation betrays Zidane

Gareth Bale pointing to his left in a game for Real Madrid

Real Madrid lost another 2 points in La Liga in disappointing fashion, this time after conceding a 1-1 home draw against Levante. Zinedine Zidane decide to rotate multiple players in his starting lineup and it ended up costing him 2 points.

An essentially frustrating game that might have had less to do with what happened on the pitch and perhaps more to do with what didn't happen this summer, that being the addition of a true number '9' to the squad. Today, Real Madrid drew 1-1 at home against Levante and it was clear that without CR7 in the squad the Merengues will have an incredibly hard time scoring. And with both Alvaro Morata and even Mariano off to newer pastures, Madrid hardly have a capable backup. It's a dangerous gamble Madrid are in for this season and they're not exactly throwing chips in the best casinos out there. Another game against a team from Valencia and another frustrating draw at home. Four points dropped in such quick succession could be a disaster later in the season, but it's still surely to early to panic despite the relatively poor result...

Real Madrid 1-1 Levante - Goals and highlights:

Zidane's changed side gave many of the younger players opportunities, something we're all happy to see. However, after this result may call into question some of the Frenchman's lax squad selection, though the players on the pitch were certainly good enough to win the match.

Real Madrid never seemed to be in full flight today, as their play in the final third was quite poor. Levante scored early after a mix-up at the back from Dani Carvajal, who has been quite off his usual standard to start the season honestly. Ivi Lopez was there on hand to finish, as the promoted side took a shock lead inside the opening 15 minutes at the Bernabéu.

Madrid kicked it into a higher gear, but the sun may have been the only thing shining at the Bernabéu early on, as chance after chance was wasted. Karim Benzema completed a series of unfortunate touches before going off with an injury, leaving Madrid with only Borja Mayoral (who didn't even make the bench today) as the only recognized striker in the entire squad. Gareth Bale was brought on and while he was lively he couldn't finish off a few of these clear chances. 

Lucas Vázquez did bundle home an equalizer right before the half after a Sergio Ramos header was saved, but for all their possession, Madrid only had a goal to show for it...

Lucas Vázquez scores and celebrates his goal for Real Madrid in 2017

The second half became more frustrating, as Raul in goal for Levante kept Real Madrid at bay. When it wasn't the Levante keeper making great saves in the box, it was the Madrid frontline repeatedly making the wrong decision in the final third. Sloppy under hit passes were a consistent theme and Madrid kept possession but did nothing worthwhile with it.

Gareth Bale would find himself with headers inside the six-yard box on a few occasions, but he couldn't hit the target at all. The worst of them being a chance in the 87th minute that went agonizingly wide.

And it would get worse as Marcelo was sent off for kicking out in the last minute of the match, meaning we'll be without him for the next league fixture against Real Sociedad. Toni Kroos hit a late shot off the post as well, but there would be no heroics like last season as Real Madrid have now dropped 4 points in the last two games.

Some need for concern, but not really a time to panic. Real Madrid drew three games in a row last season as well in September, so all is not lost yet. Up next, a return to the Champions League, where they'll host Apoel Nicosia and we'll see the brief return of Cristiano Ronaldo, who I'm sure will be eager to hit the pitch.

Author: Terrance Ross

Isco changing direction using the back of his heel

Real Madrid line-up vs Levante:

Goalkeeper: Casilla
Defenders: Theo, Sergio Ramos, Nacho, Carvajal
Midfielders: Kroos, Llorente, Marcelo, Lucas Vázquez
Attackers: Asensio, Benzema.

Match stats provided by www.ronaldo7.net
Real Madrid
vs
Levante
1
Goals
1
18
Shots
5
10
Shots on goal
2
13
Corner kicks
3
9
Fouls commited
16
2
Yellow cards
3
1
Red cards
0
68%
Ball possession
32%

Cristiano Ronaldo next game is for Real Madrid on September 13 of 2017 against APOEL Nicosia. You can watch Real Madrid vs APOEL Nicosia, Barcelona vs Espanyol, Swansea City vs Newcastle United, Burnley vs Crystal Palace, and Schalke 04 vs VfB Stuttgart, all matches provided from our soccer live game pages.

Real Madrid next game:
Real Madrid vs APOEL Nicosia
kick-off time (09-09-2017):

Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 02:45
Jakarta
(Indonesia)
| UTC/GMT+7: 01:45
India (New Delhi) |
UTC/GMT+5.30: 00:15
Spain
(Madrid) | UTC/GMT+2: 20:45
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+1: 19:45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-3: 15:45
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-4: 14:45
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-7: 11:45

Sources: ronaldo7.net / realmadrid.com / skysports.com / bbc.com

Karim Benzema gets injured against Levante

Marcos Llorente playing for Real Madrid in 2017

Toni Kroos in action in Real Madrid 1-1 Levante

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