More misery for Real

JULEN Lopetegui will face further questions over his future following Real Madrid’s disastrous 2-1 home defeat to Levante, extending their winless run to five games.

The result saw Real Madrid break the unwanted record for the longest goalless run in the club’s history, going 481 minutes without finding the net, but it could also cost Lopetegui his job, with speculation already mounting before this game that he could be replaced.

Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema were dropped to the bench, perhaps with next week’s El Clasico in mind, but that decision quickly backfired as Levante took the lead after just seven minutes, making the most of some slack defending from Raphael Varane to score through Jose Luis Morales.

They doubled their advantage soon after, with VAR used to award a penalty kick for a handball by Varane. Roger stepped up to the spot to convert and give the visitors a shock 2-0 lead after just 14 minutes.

Real Madrid thought they had halved the deficit when Sergio Ramos and Marcos Asensio bundled home between them, but VAR showed that the latter had been offside and the goal was chalked off, much to Lopetegui’s frustration, as he increasingly cut a desperate figure.

Marcelo got one back late in the second half, firing a finish high into the net with his right foot, but that is where the fightback ended, with Levante holding on for only their second ever win at the Santiago Bernabeu. – Eurosport

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