Sep 9, 2017 at 12pm UK at ​Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Attendance: 67,789
Real Madrid
1-1
Levante
Vazquez (36')
Ramos (55'), Carvajal (66')
Marcelo (88')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Lopez (12')
Lerma (45'), Alegria (47'), Boateng (60')

Live Commentary: Real Madrid 1-1 Levante - as it happened

Live Commentary: Real Madrid 1-1 Levante - as it happened
© AFP
Relive Sports Mole's live coverage of the La Liga clash between Real Madrid and Levante from the Bernabeu, which finished 1-1.

Spanish champions Real Madrid had Marcelo sent off in a 1-1 draw with Levante at the Bernabeu on Saturday afternoon.

Lucas Vazquez cancelled out an early Ivi Lopez strike to leave the two teams on terms ahead of the second period, but Real Madrid could not find a second as they dropped home La Liga points for the second successive match.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's live minute-by-minute commentary of the action below.


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11.01amMorning all! Sports Mole's live La Liga coverage continues from the Bernabeu as the champions Real Madrid welcome newly-promoted Levante. Los Blancos were held at home by Valencia before the international break, but will be confident of returning to winning ways this afternoon. That said, Levante have made a positive start to the 2017-18 campaign. Stay tuned for all of the action!

11.04amLevante have lost each of their last nine La Liga matches against Real Madrid, with their last success in this fixture coming back in September 2011. They have not won at the Bernabeu in the league since February 2007, meanwhile, which is an indication of their task this afternoon. Their last meeting at the Bernabeu ended in a 3-0 Real Madrid victory during the 2015-16 season.

11.07amRight, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news from the Spanish capital. Any shocks or surprises? Let's have a look at the two teams that will start...

Real Madrid attacker Marco Asensio celebrates scoring against Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup second leg on August 16, 2017© Offside


11.10amTEAMS!

REAL: Casilla; Carvajal, Ramos, Nacho, Theo; Kroos, Llorente, Marcelo; Vazquez, Benzema, Asensio

LEVANTE: Raul; Ivan, Tono, Postigo, Rober, Chema; Lerma, Ivi, Jason, Campana; Alegria


11.13amWell, that is a very interesting Real Madrid XI. Keylor Navas's absence between the sticks means that there is a start for Kiko Casilla, while Sergio Ramos is back from suspension to skipper the champions. Theo Hernandez and Marcos Llorente also start, and it appears that Marcelo will move from his normal left-back role into central midfield. Further forward, Gareth Bale is only on the bench, meaning that Lucas Vazquez and in-form Marco Asensio will support Karim Benzema. Zidane has shuffled his pack!

11.16amAs for Levante, suspension has ruled winger Jose Luis Morales out of the match, while Macedonian Enis Bardhi is only on the bench after picking up a knock during the recent international break. Cheick Doukoure is also unavailable for the visitors after returning late from Ivory Coast duty, but Jose Campana is fit to start in midfield. Alex Alegria, who is on loan from Real Betis, will again lead the line.

Jose Luis Morales competes for the ball with Lucas VAZQUEZ during the La Liga match between Levante and Real Madrid on March 02, 2016© Getty Images


11.19amSo there we have it. The two teams are in, and we are now just about 40 minutes from kickoff on this warm afternoon in Madrid. I shall speak about the away side a little bit later, but let's start with Real Madrid. The champions have collected four points from their first two La Liga matches this season - following a 3-0 victory at Deportivo La Coruna with a 2-2 draw with Valencia last time out.

11.22amReal Madrid were actually trailing 2-1 to Valencia entering the latter stages of their clash at the Bernabeu, but Asensio came up with his second of the match to level the scores. The champions were far from convincing against a free-flowing Valencia, but it would be a major shock if Zidane's side did not move onto seven points, and temporarily to the top of the table, with a win here.

11.25amIn terms of what is ahead for Real Madrid, the Champions League group stage will begin next week, and the European champions open their defence at home to Cypriot side APOEL on Wednesday night. Tottenham Hotspur and Borussia Dortmund make up what is a very exciting group, and Real Madrid will be looking to start their campaign with a strong win at the Bernabeu.

Gareth Bale after Real Madrid's Champions League final victory over Juventus on June 6, 2017© SilverHub


11.28amReal Madrid will then travel to high-flying Real Sociedad in the league next weekend, before welcoming Real Betis, visiting Alaves and hosting Espanyol before the end of the month. Dortmund will also welcome Real Madrid in the Champions League on September 26. It is a very busy month!

11.32amReal Madrid are still without the services of the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo, but Isco and Asensio have both stepped up in the forward's absence. The pair were also both in fine form for Spain during the international break, and when considering the amount of young talent that Los Blancos have available, there is every reason to believe that the future will be extremely bright for the club.

11.35amWhat a player...


11.38amAs for Levante, the Frogs are back in La Liga after winning the Segunda Division last season. They finished rock bottom of Spain's top flight at the end of the 2015-16 campaign, but have bounced straight back to the top level, and will be looking to consolidate as a La Liga club once again.

11.42amJuan Muniz's side have made an extremely positive start to the new campaign – opening with a 1-0 win over Villarreal on August 21, before drawing 2-2 at home to Deportivo before the international break. Levante are expected to be one of the teams battling against the drop this term, but another positive result this afternoon would make it a fine start to the 2017-18 season.

11.45amLevante actually made more than £10m in the summer transfer market by selling Victor Camarasa and Deyverson to Real Betis and Palmeiras respectively. Emmanuel Boateng, Cheick Doukoure, Enis Bardhi, Ivi, Mitchell Langerak and Oier Olazabal have all arrived to boost the squad, in addition to Samu Garcia, who came on a free transfer from Rubin Kazan. There is a fresh look to Levante this season.

11.48am

11.52amJust a reminder that Barcelona are in action later tonight at home to Catalan rivals Espanyol. There is also a very interesting game at the Mestalla this afternoon as Valencia welcome Atletico Madrid.

11.55amHere we go then - both sets of players are in the tunnel ahead of kickoff at the Bernabeu. Just a reminder that Bale starts on the bench for Real Madrid, with Lucas and Asensio supporting Benzema in the final third. Marcos Llorente and Theo Hernandez also both start for the home side.

11.58amWill Asensio inspire Real Madrid again this afternoon? What a player. Cristiano Ronaldo remains absent for the champions, but Asensio looks ready to become the next absolute superstar here.

Real Madrid attacker Marco Asensio celebrates scoring against Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup second leg on August 16, 2017© Offside


0 minKICKOFF! Levante kick things off in Madrid...

2 min... it must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium. The Bernabeu can be an unforgiving place, but the noise levels are brilliant this afternoon. Let's hope for an entertaining game.

4 minMarcelo is playing in a wide left position for Real Madrid, with Hernandez at left-back. It had been thought that Marcelo would sit in central midfield, but the Brazilian is wide, for the moment at least. Benzema is up top, with Vasquez to the right, and Asensio sitting in the number 10 position here.

4 minImportant defending from Lopez as Levante's number two prevents Asensio from sliding a pass into Marcelo, who would have been free inside the box. Positive start form the Spanish champions.

5 minWonderful defending from Lerma as the Levante midfielder comes across to challenge Benzema after the Frenchman had driven into the penalty area. Real Madrid look in the mood early on.

7 minLevante need to be very careful here as a couple of early mistakes have invited Real Madrid on. The away side's goalkeeper Fernandez takes too long to clear, and that allows Benzema to chase down the ball. Seven minutes on the clock, and Real Madrid are really putting the pressure on here.

9 minReal Madrid continue to dominate the ball as they pass and probe in the final third. Asensio attempts to meet a deep pass from Kroos, but the weight is just too strong, and Levante can resume the play from the dead-ball line. Nothing much going forward for Levante at the moment.

12 minBetter from Levante in the last couple of minutes as they enjoy some possession in the Real Madrid half. Alegria threatens to break onto a deflected pass from Jason, but Nacho makes the clearance.

12 minReal Madrid cannot get out at the moment as Levante threaten with a couple of set pieces in quick succession. Smart goalkeeping from Casilla sees the Spaniard punch clear of the penalty box.

12 minGOAL! Real Madrid 0-1 Levante (Ivi)

13 minOh my word! Levante take the lead at the Bernabeu as Ivi finishes into the back of the net from close range after the bounce had beaten Carvajal from a long throw! Untidy from Real Madrid!

14 minReal Madrid almost hit straight back as Benzema finds Asensio inside the Levante box, but Postigo is on hand to make the block. Levante are going to come under some serious pressure now!

16 minSmart goalkeeping from Fernandez as the Levante stopper manages to hold a cross from Vazquez, which had threatened to drop behind the line. We have a serious game on our hands here.

18 minMarcelo looks to slide a pass into Theo, but Fernandez is out to collect once again.

20 minAll Real Madrid at the moment as the home side continue to force the issue. Kroos goes down inside the Levante box under pressure from Postigo, but the referee is not interested. I must admit that I thought this would be pretty straightforward for Real Madrid, but Levante have been excellent.

21 minLEVANTE SUB! Pedro Lopez replaces Ivan Lopez, who limps off the field here.

23 minIn fairness to the Real Madrid supporters, they are creating a wonderful noise inside the stadium. I would be astounded if we had seen the last of the goals. Let's face it, this is not finishing 1-0.

24 minLevante are very much in a 4-5-1 formation at the moment, but that is not harming their ability to threaten in the final third. Indeed, Ivi and Jason are supporting Alegria whenever possible. Lerma is also working tirelessly in the middle of the park as the number eight presses Asensio.

26 minYou feel that Benzema is under some pressure this afternoon. The Frenchman missed an absolute hatful of chances against Valencia last time out, and he has not really been involved in the opening 26 minutes of this match. Levante are really impressing with their defensive recovery here.

27 min

27 minBenzema looks to have a real problem for Real Madrid as he struggles to bend his knee.

27 minBenzema will not be able to continue here!

29 minREAL MADRID SUB! Bale replaces Benzema.

31 minBale is under pressure for his spot at Real Madrid, and this would be a good time for the Welshman to put on a strong performance. Levante continue to hold firm in Madrid with 31 minutes on the clock.

33 minIt just is not happening for Real Madrid at the moment as Carvajal loses the ball before bringing Rober to the deck in a dangerous position. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining, and Levante have put in just about the perfect away performance thus far. All the credit goes to them.

33 minCLOSE! Ivi's free kick from distance is just wide of the post!

35 minPass, pass, pass from Real Madrid, but Levante are holding firm at the back.

36 minReal Madrid have scored in their last 70 games in all competitions, which is an indiction of the size of the task facing Levante if they wish to keep a clean sheet this afternoon. In truth, I would be astounded if we had seen the last of the goals, especially with a lot of football still to play here.

36 minGOAL! Real Madrid 1-1 Levante (Vazquez)

37 minAnd there it is! Real Madrid level the scores as Vazquez turns home from close range after Fernandez had palmed a Ramos header straight to the attacker! Levante concede in the 36th minute.

40 minLevante are under real pressure at the moment as Real Madrid continue to force the issue in the final third. Without stating the obvious, the next goal in this football match is absolutely massive.

42 minIt must be said that this has been a wonderful opening half of football at the Bernabeu. On paper, Real Madrid would have fancied a routine win, but Levante have been excellent in the first period.

44 minLevante cannot get out of their own half at the moment as the visitors come under increasing pressure from a series of set pieces. This would be the worst possible time to concede a second.

44 minCLOSE! Bale heads a Marcelo cross just wide of the post!

45 minSAVE! Wonderful save from Fernandez to keep out Bale, who had broken through into a one-on-one situation. The Welshman really should be finishing those chances!

45 min+1BOOKING! Lerma (Levante) is booked for a challenge on Kroos.

45 min+2SAVE! Fernandez gets down well to keep out a strike from Kroos.

45 min+3HALF-TIME: Real Madrid 1-1 Levante

12.47pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Levante holding Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. The visitors took the lead in the 12th minute when Ivi finished from close range, but the hosts were level in the 36th minute through Vazquez. It has been a super game of football.

12.52pmSTATISTICS! Real Madrid have dominated the ball with 66%, while they have had seven attempts - four of which were on target. Levante, meanwhile, hit the target with one of their three attempts in the first period. Just the one yellow card to report, and that came for Lerma in first-half stoppage time.

12.57pmBENCH WATCH! Both managers have already been forced to make changes this afternoon, with Pedro Lopez replacing Ivan Lopez for Levante, and Bale replacing Benzema for Real Madrid. Bardhi, Samuel and Boateng are all options on the Levante bench, while Real Madrid could call upon Isco in the second 45 minutes. Will either manager make another change at the break? I would be surprised.

46 minRESTART! Real Madrid resume the action here...

47 min... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period develops here.

48 minBale looks to meet a sweeping pass from Ramos, but the Welshman reacts too late, and the flag surely would have gone up if Fernandez had not collected. Levante are going to have to hold firm here.

48 minBOOKING! Alegria (Levante) is booked following a clash with Ramos.

49 minRamos is still down having treatment here after taking an arm in the face from Alegria.

51 minSAVE! Casilla has to get down to keep out a low strike from Alegria!

53 minGood spell from Levante in the last couple of minutes as the visitors threaten with a couple of high balls into the Real Madrid box. This is a very even game with 53 minutes on the clock here.

55 minBOOKING! Ramos (Real Madrid) is booked for a high boot.

55 minLEVANTE SUB! Alegria is replaced by Boateng in Levante's second change.

57 minLittle over 30 minutes of football remaining at the Bernabeu, and while Real Madrid are in control of the ball, there is no question that Levante are very much in this football match. The home side need a little bit more from the likes of Bale and Asensio. Isco will surely come off the bench at some point.

59 minTheo sends a low cross into the Levante box, but Marcelo cannot find Asensio with a clever flick, and Levante resume from the dead-ball line once again. Still 1-1 with 59 minutes on the clock.

60 minAsensio's effort from a Carvajal cross is easily collected by Fernandez.

60 minBOOKING! Boateng (Levante) is booked for an elbow on Llorente.

62 minCHANCE! Vazquez finds the head of Bale with a super cross, but his effort is over!

62 minREAL MADRID SUB! Isco replaces Llorente for Los Blancos.

63 minIsco just came close to finding Asensio with what was a wonderful pass from deep!

65 minLevante continue to defend for their lives as Real Madrid turn the screw. I would be surprised if we had seen the last of the scoring with still more than 25 minutes of football to play in Madrid.

65 minSmart save from Fernandez to keep out Kroos's effort from outside the box.

66 minBOOKING! Carvajal (Real Madrid) is booked for a late tackle on Lerma.

67 minLEVANTE SUB! Samuel Garcia replaces Ivi for Levante.

70 minLittle over 20 minutes of football remaining at the Bernabeu, and we are still level at 1-1. Levante have made all three of their changes, but Zidane still has one more option from the bench.

72 minFernandez shows safe hands once again as the Levante goalkeeper collects a deep cross from Carvajal. Just a few whistles starting to come from the crowd as the score remains level here.

72 minAsensio just misses the far post with a curling effort.

73 minNacho's header is too high as Levante resist another period of pressure.

73 minREAL MADRID SUB! Kovacic replaces Vazquez for the home side.

75 minCorner after corner for Real Madrid at the moment as the home side press for a second.

75 minFernandez gets down to keep out a long-range attempt from Carvajal.

77 minLittle under 15 minutes of football remaining at the Bernabeu, and Levante continue to hold firm. It must be said that the away side have been absolutely excellent in the capital this afternoon.

79 minKroos delivers another free kick into the Levante box, and Fernandez is on hand to clear down-field.

80 minIt might be early in the season, but dropping home points against Levante would be pretty poor from Real Madrid, especially off the back of a 2-2 draw with Valencia at home last time out.

82 minIt would be fair to say that Levante are using plenty of time-wasting tactics at the moment.

83 minSAVE! Fernandez is down to keep out a curling Asensio strike.

84 minThese are the games where a certain Ronaldo would pop up with a last-minute winner. Bale needs to step up for Real Madrid in the final five minutes. Still time for a winner in this football match.

86 minWe are still locked at 1-1 with 86 minutes on the clock in the Spanish capital.

88 minCHANCE! Stunning chance for Bale to find the back of the net, but the Welshman heads wide of the post once again. He just had to score from that position!

88 minRED CARD! MARCELO!

89 minOh my word! Marcelo sees red for Real Madrid after kicking out at Pedro Lopez!

90 min+1We are into the first of four additional minutes at the Bernabeu!

90 min+3Still time for 10-man Real Madrid, but Levante continue to clear their lines. What a finish!

90 min+3POST! Kroos hits the post with a curling effort from outside the box!

90 min+5FULL-TIME: Real Madrid 1-1 Levante

1.53pmWow, what a game! The referee brings the second period to a close with Real Madrid held at home by Levante. The visitors deserve such credit for taking a point from the Spanish capital this afternoon. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live coverage once again. Until next time!

Lucas VAZQUEZ celebrates getting on the scoresheet during the La Liga game between Real Madrid and Villarreal on April 20, 2016
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