After beating Valencia Four-1 on the Mestalla final weekend, Actual Madrid have been unable to beat to the town’s different prime flight facet in Saturday night time’s 2-2 draw with Levante.
Sergio Ramos early header was cancelled out simply earlier than half time by Emmanuel Boateng, whereas new boy Giampaolo Pazzini nicked a degree on the dying after Isco had seemed to seal it for the guests.
Zinedine Zidane made one change to the lineup that crushed Valencia one week prior, as captain Ramos returned to the center of the defence alongside Raphael Varane on the expense of Nacho.
Kepa’s signature on the dotted line of a brand new deal at Athletic Membership, regardless of Florentino Perez’s finest efforts, meant Keylor Navas continued in purpose towards his former membership.
Levante have not gained in La Liga on the Estadi Ciutat de València since September, however stole a draw on the Santiago Bernabeu within the reverse fixture this season, giving them some purpose to hope.
Deadline day signing, 33-year-old Pazzini was slung in among the many subs by supervisor Juan Muniz for the hosts, whereas Coke was the one of Levante’s seven January additions to make the beginning lineup.
After a gap ten minutes by which the guests dominated, Marcelo’s skewed drive following a neat interchange with Karim Benzema earned a nook and the returning Ramos rose above the defence to open the scoring with a attribute header.
Whereas the ability from Ramos’ connection wasn’t unstoppable, Benzema’s motion in entrance of former Barcelona man Oier Olazabal brought on sufficient of a distraction to permit the ball to wriggle into the far nook.
The guests continued to probe previous to the half-time whistle, and Cristiano Ronaldo got here closest to doubling Los Blancos’ benefit as he pounced on Oier’s spill after Toni Kroos bent an effort from outdoors the 18-yard field.
The Granotas responded gamely to the early purpose with out ever actually threatening their former keeper’s web. That was till three minutes earlier than the break when Jose Morales discovered himself in behind Ramos from Sasa Lukic’s raking by way of ball.
Navas did properly to dam the preliminary effort however 21-year-old Boateng made no mistake with the rebound, stroking dwelling into the far nook previous the lunge of Varane for the equaliser and his first league purpose of the season.
Ex-Fiorentina, Sampdoria, Inter and Milan and so on veteran striker Pazzini on for his Levante debut. 15 minutes left, Madrid nonetheless being held 1-1.
— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) February three, 2018
Then, with simply ten minutes left on the clock, substitute Isco appeared to break Levante hearts by slamming dwelling after taking a contact from Benzema’s in the reduction of contained in the field. The France worldwide was fortunate to get on the tip of Dani Carvajal’s deflected cross, however he took full benefit in shedding for the ready Isco to revive Actual’s benefit.
Nevertheless, visiting followers anticipating an informal stroll to the end line for Zidane’s facet have been sorely mistaken and Roger Marti ought to’ve equalised from Morales’ cross moments later, however he nodded simply vast from centimetres out.
With lower than one minute left of regular time, it was left to debut-making Pazzini – who promised he was not in Valencia as a vacationer upon his arrival two days prior – to grow to be the hero. After being put by way of previous Ramos, t