The weekly summary
After what felt like the longest wait, the international break finally came to an end and we were able to enjoy Real Madrid once again this weekend. This break was not only tedious, but as it usually does it brought bad news for the team with the infamous FIFA virus affecting two of our players: Luka Modric and Fede Valverde.
The good news is that with the time off, some of our injured players were able to recover and are ready to be back on the pitch. Eden Hazard being the most awaited one to make his official debut, as well as James and Rodrygo. With a very busy schedule in the following weeks, having the kick off of the Champions League on Wednesday, Zidane will need as many players in full shape as he can get.
The league match played Saturday afternoon was one of those matches that had all the signs of being very treacherous. Madrid has been lately known to slack after an international break, especially at that time of the day, and Levante has been a team to get good results at the Bernabéu in the past few visits.
It seems Zidane was able to get his players to focus and come out with the intensity that a match like this required, as the game started with a Real Madrid controlling all facets of the game. Levante couldn’t get a break and soon enough the merengues were on top of the scoreboard. It was Benzema who would score the opener, a player that has become the leader of the Madrid offense. He would score again before the end of the half and Casemiro would put up the third before going into the locker room at halftime.
At the time it appeared an easy win for los blancos, being 3-0 at home with total dominion of the flow of the game and probably some of the best football we’ve seen zidane’s side play this season. But this is Real Madrid and easy doesn’t seem to be on their vocabulary these days.
Levante would score an early goal into the second half. Mayoral, a Madrid player on loan, would walk pass Ramos who seemed to be more focus on watching the play than be part of it, and he would strike the low cross near the bottom of the first post past the stretching arms of Courtois, who could not do more to prevent the goal.
It was still a comfortable lead for Madrid who enjoyed plenty of chances to kill the match, but the locals could not find the back of the net again and when they did, VAR took it away for a clear off side.
Levante had not been in the match at all until then, but found another goal without trying much. A Cross was headed alone in the small area to beaten Courtois that was once again betrayed by his defense. This time it was Carvajal who had lost his mark if he had ever had him.
With the 3-2 Levante gained new strengths and Madrid lost the composure they had had throughout the match making it a thrilling end. Levante had nothing to lose and even came close to scraping a point, but an amazing save by Courtois would deny the visitors a tying goal during the added time. A great match of football by Madrid was tainted at the end by two defensive errors that complicated things, a repeating theme lately.
Zidane will need to find answers quick as Madrid continues to fight to be back on the winning ways. This Wednesday the team will visit Paris to face PSG, a very important match that can give our players the confidence boost they need or increase the doubts that are still floating around madridistas’ minds. Still, we are only one point behind the leader and ahead of Barça in La Liga, not everything is as bad as we might hear.