Levante 1-0 Real Madrid: Eden Hazard hesitates to play against Man City and in El Clasico while limping wounded on a terrible night for Zinedine Zidane’s side
- Real Madrid was frustrated Saturday night when they fell to beat Levante
- A great finish from Jose Luis Morales meant that the hosts took an unlikely lead
- Barcelona rivals now have a slight lead at the top of the Spanish league
Eden Hazard stopped injured when Real Madrid was defeated 1-0 by Levante just four days earlier than their first leg in the Champions League final-16 at home in Manchester City.
The former Chelsea attacker has only just returned from almost three months after he recovered from a cracked bone in his right ankle.
He has only played five full games since joining the club and after an impressive first half, he bumped out against Levante after 61 minutes.
Zinedine Zidane talks to Eden Hazard while the Belgian continues to struggle with an injury
Levante players celebrate after Jose Luis Morales’ stunning strike with not long to go
Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos barks orders to his team when they are looking for a goal
Levante 4-4-2: Fernandez, Miramon, Postigo, Bruno, Tono, Morales (Martinez 81), Campana, Vukcevic, Bardhi, Marti (Melero 67), Mayoral (Leon 88)
Subs not used: Koke, Duarte, Clerc, Coke
goals: Morales 79
Real Madrid 4-3-3: Courtois, Marcelo, Ramos, Varane, Carvajal, Kroos, Casemiro, Modric (Valverde 82), Hazard (Vinicius Jr 67), Benzema, Isco (Vasquez 67)
Subs not used: Areola, Militao, Rodriguez, Mendy
yellow: Ramos, Casemiro
He watched the rest of the game with ice tied to his right legs. Madrid supporters hope that it is not the ankle problem that kept him out so long earlier this season.
Zidane said: ‘It doesn’t look good. He received a blow to his ankle where he had sustained his previous injury. ”
With Manchester City on Wednesday in Madrid, Madrid was defeated by humble Levante. Jose Luis Morales scored the winner pounding in a 78th minute screamer after being onside by Raphael Varane.
Barcelona had won earlier on Saturday, which means that Madrid loses first place in LaLiga, just as the side of Pep Guardiola arrives in the Spanish capital.
Madrid dominated in the first half but was sometimes guilty of over-playing. Karim Benzema crossed the target in his sight instead of ending. Luka Modric was more selfless, but his stabbing shot was eliminated by Aitor Fernandez.
Hazard was at the center of so many Real Madrid attacks related to Benzema, Marcelo and Toni Kroos. Isco also enjoyed himself, although Ramos’ glorious pass from defense left him a fraction offside and allowed a Levante defender to rob the ball after his first touch.
Real Madrid defender Marcelo is tackled during the game by Enante Bardhi of Levante
Eden Hazard reacts frustrated after missing a chance against Levante during the match
Hazard had the last half-kick with a cross that pushed Fernandez away. Madrid had besieged the home team’s goal with a total of 12 shots but no rewards.
Strengthened by surviving the first half, Levante came to fight and Enis Bardhi just went wide with a right foot shot. That almost led to Madrid’s first goal, but from Isco’s pass Hazard attacked his shot with Fernandez trying to block him.
It was a big mistake, but it was worse to follow when he limped after five minutes of bumps to be replaced by Vinicius. The injury had a negative effect on Madrid, which had given Levante a series of opportunities.
From a Jose Luis Morales ran to the left with a tired Luka Modric in the chase. There were few options available to him, so he decided to just shoot the ball into the roof of the Thibaut Courtois net.
Levante’s goalkeeper Aitor Fernandez rises high to grab the ball under pressure
Luka Modric and Thibaut Courtois react frustrated after falling 1-0 behind Levante
Moments later, a last-ditch challenge from Varane prevented Borja Mayoral from scoring a second. Madrid was in a panic now, but there was no more scoring with the urgency of the ticking clock than in the first period with the game ahead and in total control.
Losing the lead in the competition influences the morale prior to the City competition. Losing Hazard for a longer period of time will also be a huge blow when the season starts to peak.