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Deportivo La Coruña
November 11, 2012
• Estadio Ciudad de Valencia, Valencia
Referee: César Muñiz Fernández
• Attendance: 20805
Cristiano Ronaldo 21'
Álvaro Morata 84'
FULL TIME. Alvaro Morata comes off the bench to earn a dream debut for Real Madrid. His 84th minute strike is the difference as Jose Mourinho's men defeat Levante 2-1 in horrible playing conditions in Valencia. Such a vital three points. I'm Martin Macdonald, thank you for joining us on Goal.com! See you next time!
It will take something very special for Levante to earn a draw now. They have gave it everything but some slack defending in vital moments has ultimately cost them.
Levante going for broke now. Jose Barkero and Papa Diop come off for Miguel Angel and Ruben Garcia.
Yellow Card Pedro Ríos
Obafemi Martins goes through on goal! He attempts to take the ball around Casillas but the Madrid man manages to get a touch on the ball! The Nigerian takes the ball wide and skies his attempt over! Los Blancos let off the hook!
What an incredible debut for Morata. He possibly has earned Madrid an incredibly vital three points!
Assist Xabi Alonso
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL FOR REAL MADRID!! And its youngster, Alvaro Morata who scored with his first touch!! Incredible!! Xabi Alonso floats in a corner kick and the substitute rises high to glance a header into the bottom corner! 2-1!
Real Madrid make their last change of the match as Mesut Ozil comes off to be replaced by Alvaro Morata, who makes his debut for Los Blancos.
The match is basically a long pass game of tennis at the moment. Both defences are exchanging long punts up the field. The conditions have been getting progressively worse throughout the match.
Free kick to Real Madrid in the inside right channel. Di Maria steps up and attempts to power a shot through the ball but it deflects away from danger. Madrid are half-heartedly asking for another penalty but it is waved away by the referee.
The game is a cracker now. After the lacklustre first period we are seeing a brilliant contest now. Both sides capable of winning. Just under 15 minutes to go so plenty of time for a winner.
Levante a whisker away from taking the lead!!! Juanlu latches on to a pass over the top of the Madrid defence and hits the ball on the half-volley towards the bottom right corner but it misses by an inch! So, so close!
Penalty save Gustavo Munúa
Missed Penalty Xabi Alonso
XABI ALONSO STEPS UP AND MISSES!!! Munua makes an excellent save to his right-hand side! Brilliant stop!
Yellow Card Pedro López
Yellow Card Juan García García
Penalty to Madrid!!! Navarro brings down Callejon with a slid challenge from behind! It was touch and go whether it was inside the area but it looked to be on the line! Who will hit the spotkick?
A couple of consecutive Madrid corner kicks are whipped in from Ozil but Levante deal with them relatively comfortably. They have defended well in aerial situations tonight.
After Ronaldo's withdrawal, Madrid are now without their top three goalscorers. Benzema and Higuain are injured so you wonder who has it in them to step up and get the winner here.
What a block from Juanfran!! Madrid almost respond immediately! A swift counterattack from the visitors sees the ball fall to the feet of Callejon just outside the box who drills a shot at goal. However, the Levante man is there to make a fantastic last ditch challenge!
Assist Obafemi Martins
Assist Obafemi Martins
GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAL FOR LEVANTE!!! The ball is pumped into the box and Martins flicks the ball round the corner for Rodriguez who shoves off Pepe before smashing a shot into the top left corner!! 1-1!
HOW HAS THAT NOT GONE IN??!!! A Madrid corner comes in from the right and the ball falls to the feet of Ramos with his back to goal. He attempts to back heel it in but the ball comes off Diop and hits the underside of the bar before being cleared by Levante! Incredible!
Juanlu brings down Pepe just on the touchline. The Madrid man writhes and rolls around and earns the Levante man a yellow card. That dive gets a 10 out of 10!
Yellow Card Juanlu
Pepe hits the bar! He should have scored!! The Portuguese meets a corner kick from the left and towers above everyone to power an attempt towards goal but it clips the top of the woodwork!
Nabil El Zhar
First change of the match for Levante as El-Zhar comes off to be replaced by Angel Rodriguez.
Di Maria picks up a loose ball on the right-hand side and takes the ball forward. His impressive dribbling skill allows him to keep the ball tight despite the surface. He cuts inside and lashes a shot on goal but it creeps just wide of the post.
Barkero goes on a marauding run down the left-hand side but again the ball sticks and this allows Xabi Alonso to come in and make the challenge.
We have yet to see anything from Obafemi Martins so far really. It is not his fault, but the conditions have made it difficult for his team-mates to provide any meaningful ammunition in the final third.
JUANLU!!! So unlucky! The Levante man drives forward and unleashed a thunderous strike towards goal that goes a whisker by the post!
Jose Mourinho has opted to take off Cristiano Ronaldo at half time. The Portuguese will be replaced by Raul Albiol. Certainly a big call to take off the Portuguese even in a match when not a lot of football can be played.
THE SECOND HALF IS UNDERWAY!
HALF TIME. A solitary goal from Cristiano Ronaldo is the difference so far between Levante and Real Madrid. The surface and conditions is drastically hampering the quality of the match. Join us in 15 minutes for the second period!
Yellow Card Nabil El Zhar
Levante have been guilty of giving away needless free kicks. On a number of occasions Madrid have been facing their own goal with nowhere to go but have been bailed out after Levante players have committed silly fouls.
Yellow Card Iborra
Iborra earns a yellow card for throwing Callejon to the floor. The Levante man stands up to the referee moaning about the decision. I don't know what he is complaining about it was a clear foul. Free kick to Madrid.
The game is such a battle in the middle of the park. Both goalkeepers are not really being tested and Ronaldo's goal has been the only real moment of attacking quality so far.
Ronaldo steps up and smashes the ball straight off the wall. A wasted opportunity there.
Another set-piece opportunity for Madrid in a great position. Ozil and Callejon look to exchange a one-two on the edge of the box but the Spaniard is took out by Navarro. Good chance for a shot on goal here.
Alonso looks the player most likely to pull some creativity out of thin air. His longs balls have been excellent and he is putting in an incredible shift in the middle of the park. The best player so far by far.
The long ball count has been astronomical. You can't really blame the players though, they run a high risk of losing possession in the middle of the park if they attempt a dribble or a shorter pass.
Coentrao brings the ball inside and slightly overruns the ball. He runs directly into El-Zhar and falls from six feet in the air. Madrid get the free kick. It is very, very scrappy out there.
Levante with a corner kick chance. It is whipped in but Casillas managed to get through the bodies to clear with a punch. Set-pieces may give the hosts a lot of joy, they have plenty of power and height throughout their starting XI.
The game has a bit of a cup game feel to it. The crowd are raucous and loud and their is quite a bit of bad blood involved at the moment. A moment of magic from Ronaldo is the difference so far.
As you can imagine there is a lot of tackles flying in on this slippery surface. The referee must aim to use common sense when thinking about dishing out cards from his pocket as players won't necessarily have control when sliding in.
That was a truly fantastic goal from Ronaldo. He knew not to let the ball drop as their was a high probability that it would stick on the muddy surface.
Goal Cristiano Ronaldo
GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAL FOR REAL MADRID!!! Xabi Alonso whips a free kick in from the left-hand side and the ball finds its way to Ronaldo who magnificently controls with his thigh and volleys into the rood of the net! Brilliant finish! 1-0 Madrid!
Yellow Card Cristiano Ronaldo
Too many players are attempting to take the ball on dribbles. It is just not the night for that is the ball is sticking terribly.
Xabi Alonso looks to take the game by the scruff of the neck with a driven left-footed attempt from 30 yards. It was always rising and goes over for a Levante goal kick. The Madrid man is the player best acclimatising to the conditions. He is looking to get the ball in the air any time he can. The surface really is that bad.
Both teams look to have given up on their short passing game. Defenders and deep lying midfielders are lumping the ball up to the strikers in an effort to take the ball above the grass. This doesn't look as if it will be a classic, folks.
The playing surface is causing chaos here. It has been raining heavily in Valencia since 3pm and the ball is sticking any time that a pass is made. In such conditions it is impossible to play free flowing football.
Interestingly, since Ronaldo came back into the action he has been employed on the right wing with Callejon going up top. Perhaps Mourinho is worried that Levante have more tough tackles in store for the Portuguese.
Yellow Card Ballesteros
Ronaldo returned to the action a couple of minutes ago with his eye patched up. It was unclear at first but replays show blood spurting from his brow. Looked very nasty but he is okay to continue.
What is Casillas doing there?! The Spain number one was reluctant to come and claim a cross and the ball fell to the feet of Martins. Luckily for Madrid the Nigerian couldn't sort out his feet and they get the goal kick.
Slight chance for Levante. A free kick comes in from the left-hand side and last quickly at the feet of Juanfran but he cant sort his position out fast enough and the ball goes out for a Madrid goal kick.
An eventful opening few minutes for the Portuguese. He just caught an elbow in the face from Navarro and it looked quite painful. He is just getting treatment at the moment. Looks as if he'll be fine.
Cristiano Ronaldo gets his shots tally off to an early start with a drilled effort from the right-hand side. Well struck but it was never truly troubling Munua in the Levanta goal.
WE ARE UNDERWAY!
Real Madrid have won just two of their last five away matches in La Liga and have have failed to win on their last three visits to Levante in all competitions. This does not make comfortable reading for Los Blancos fans!
Levante are on a three-match winless run in all competitions and have failed to score in that sequence.However, the Valencian club have won their last seven home matches across all competitions and are unbeaten at the Ciutat de Valencia this season.
10 minutes from kick off now. I'd say we are into pre-match stat time!
Interesting team selection from Mourinho. His hands are tired slightly due to the absence of Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema but the inclusion of Jose Callejon still comes as a surprise. Let's see how he does against Levante!
Barcelona secured another three points tonight with a 4-2 win away to Mallorca to the pressure is on Jose Mourinho's men to get a result tonight. Every week is basically a must win for Los Blancos!
This is the starting XI of Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Coentrao; Xabi Alonso, Essien; Di Maria, Ozil, Callejon; Ronaldo
This is how Levante will be lining up tonight: Munua; Pedro Lopez, Ballesteros, David Navarro, Juanfran; Diop, Iborra; El Zhar, Barkero, Juanlu; Martins
THE TEAMS ARE IN.
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I'll be taking you through the action this evening!
Good evening folks! Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Primera Division clash between Levante and Real Madrid at Estadio Ciudad de Valencia!
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