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Deportivo La Coruña
18 September 2011
• Estadio Ciudad de Valencia, Valencia
Referee: Javier Turienzo Álvarez
• Attendance: 18000
A. Koné 68'
So bad news for Madrid, good news for Barcelona and also Valencia, who stay top. And Betis can join them later with a win over Athletic Bilbao. For Mourinho and Madrid, a chance lost and indiscipline has cost them once again. Something to look at for the Portuguese.
90' + 5'
Final whistle goes. It's all over. Madrid miss an opportunity here and Levante performed heroically to win this one, even though they were aided by the dismissal of Khedira.
90' + 3'
Yellow CardFabio Coentrao
90' + 3'
Into the last minute and Madrid are stuck in midfield. There looks to be no way back now for Mourinho's men, who will be a point behind Barca when they could have been two ahead by now.
The 90 minutes are up. Four minutes of added time at the Ciutat de Valencia.
Time ticking away. Ronaldo somehow gets a cross in from the left, but there's nobody to get on the end of it...
@absharaslam on Twitter: Looks like RM are going to lose the advantage against Barca when they could have gained............ (BH: Agreed - a missed opportunity)
Substitute Aranda turns Carvalho, charges into the area and tests Casillas with a stinging drive, which the Madrid keeper parries, although not entirely convincingly.
Ronaldo's clever chip finds Di Maria at the far post, but there's too much curl on the ball and the Argentine can't control.
Yellow CardRubén Suárez
Ronaldo hacked down by Javi Venta and takes the free-kick himself from 30 yards out, but blasts straight at the wall.
Higuain looked to be in there, but saw his left-footed shot blocked. Madrid are running out of time here.
Yellow CardXavi Torres
Pepe gets a yellow card for showing Xavi Torres in the back. The Madrid man needs to keep his cool here because his team are already on the ropes.
@eagle9eyes on Twitter: RM had an uninspiring start. Khedira and Di Maria are really at fault.
Repetitions showing a hand from Iborra in the area following a Real Madrid corner. That could be a big talking point tomorrow, especially because it happened at 0-0, and especially if the scores remain as they are...
Ozil involved as the German's shot is deflected wide from a corner, which is cleared by Levante.
Ozil coming on to replace Marcelo as Mourinho looks for a way back into the game. Is there still time? Have your say on Twitter: @bghayward
Goooooooooooooooooooooooooolllllllllllll for Levante!!!!!!!!!!!!! Javi Venta escapes down the right flank, checks and cuts back for Kone, who blasts a thunderous drive past Casillas from 12 yards in a crowded penalty area. And it had been coming...
Munua off his line and out of his area to make the interception with his head. Did it well, but a few hearts in mouths there...
Juanlu shoots just wide with a fierce angled effort with his left foot. Levante's best chance and Valdo had been screaming for the pass at the far post. It's an open game now.
Ronaldo fortunate to win a corner after firing well wide and then the decision goes the other way as Ballesteros heads out Di Maria's centre.
@onyedjcool on Twitter: With CR7 on Madrid should be able to win this....he has quite an effect on their games
Iborra just nutmegged Cristiano Ronaldo, albeit unintentionally. The crowd enjoyed that!
Kaka replaced by Higuain. The Brazilian started brightly, but was somewhat disappointing in the end and Madrid will benefit from the Argentine's fresh legs.
Valdo came through Madrid's youth system and made one first-team appearance for Real. He's looking lovely here.
@muzammiloo on Twitter: Madrid need to be back in this game...Khedira acted awfully... knowing u r on a warning you shouldn't act that way!
Pepe does well to cut out Valdo's low cross from the right as Levante grow in confidence. Madrid lacking some inspiration here.
Valdo almost in there for Levante as well, who are having their moments with a man up. This could go either way, although Madrid still have the edge in terms of quality.
Very good long-range strike at the other end from Iborra and Casillas gets down to his left to make a fine save.
Ronaldo has a go with a free-kick but it's comfortable for Munua. The first attempt from the Portuguese.
Di Maria, who could have been sent off for his hot-headed challenge and subsequent play-acting which started the brawl, was also lucky not to have been replaced by Mourinho. He moves to the right, with Ronaldo on the left and Kaka as a 'false' nine. Coentrao is back in central midfield.
Ronaldo on for Real Madrid as Real Madrid look to win this with 10 men. Benzema off as we're underway again here.
@KWAKU_MONTANA on Twitter: Mourinho usually thrives on situations like this. I know he will switch things. We need CR7 and Higuain on. Hala madrid!
So Madrid fans: what are we predicting now? Have your say on Twitter: @bghayward
@damndoc on Twitter: Kaka should have more time on pitch like that, good for him and Real Madrid. Real 4-Levante1 is my prediction. I'm from India (BH: In fairness, that prediction was before Khedira's dismissal...)
That all started with Di Maria's dive, which was unnecessary in the first place. The Argentine, the hero in midweek as he scored the winner against Dinamo Zagreb, is something of a villain here. And he may find himself replaced at the break.
Mourinho, of course, is used to his sides playing with 10, and they often do it rather well. Madrid beat Espanyol at Cornella last season when Casillas was sent off in the first minute. This could be harder, though, on a difficult pitch and against a stubborn rival...
Yellow CardJavi Venta
Khedira's second yellow was for a push on Ballesteros. Stupid thing to do when you're already booked. And it could be very costly for Real Madrid. Ronaldo needed even more now!
Khedira gets involved and earns a yellow card, his second. And he has to go. RED CARD for the German, Madrid down to 10 men! Things look harder now for the visitors...
Some play-acting on the touchline and yellow cards for both Di Maria and Ballesteros as things turn ugly. Shades of the Spanish Supercopa, with Levante's kit almost identical to Barca's...
Yellow CardGustavo Munúa
Yellow CardÁngel Di María
@ENyamadi on Twitter: I hope Ronaldo comes on (BH: I'd say that's the hope of most Madrid fans right now...)
Coentrao goes down in the area and appeals for a penalty, but there's nothing there and even he doesn't make a fuss. Looking like a goalless first half, this one...
Benzema blasts over with a speculative left-footed volley from distance. Madrid are missing a CR7-shaped spark, despite the best efforts of Kaka, Di Maria and Coentrao...
@Nicks103 on Twitter: Is Ronaldo really handsome???? OK he is rich and talented..... (Me: I would say that probably makes him handsome for a lot of women!)
Kaka and Coentrao combining well, but Ronaldo - very animated on the sidelines - is so important in this side and will surely come on in the second half.
Valdo almost sets up Kone at the other end, but Marcelo gets back comfortably in the end.
Kaka looked to set up Coentrao there in the area, but the Portuguese was crowded out by a wall of Levante defenders. The home side are defending well, although Munua doesn't look at all secure.
Yellow CardSami Khedira
Uffff! Madrid desperately close to scoring after a mistake from Munua, who came off his line and was left in no-man's land. Coentrao set up Benzema, whose shot was cleared off the line by Ballesteros, one of three defenders forming a last line of defence for Levante.
First promising attack for Levante and Juanlu's cross flashes across the six-yard bok before Pepe clears for a corner. Good pressure from the home side, who look for Juanlu again after the corner is cleared.
Madrid eventually win another corner after Di Maria's cross is headed out, but the second one comes to nothing and Levante clear. They're on the back foot, though, the home side.
Di Maria's searching cross from the left almost sets up Benzema. Madrid win a corner as Mourinho makes notes.
Madrid appear to be coping well without Ronaldo, with Kaka lively early on. Have your say on Twitter: @bghayward
Kaka gets ahead of Xavi Torres but his low shot is saved by Munua. A goal looks imminent for Madrid...
Madrid getting closer and closer!!! This time Benzema picks up the loose ball following a corner, sets up Kaka and the Brazilian's shot is deflected over
Madrid thought they had scored!!!!!! Di Maria whips in a free-kick, the goalkeeper makes a meal of it, Pepe wins it back and Benzema pokes it into the net, but the defender was offside and Levante - and Munua, who made a shocking error - get away with it.
Barcelona were already a goal up at this stage yesterday, on their way to a stunning 8-0 victory, but in terms of points, any win will do for Madrid to return to the top of the table tonight.
Underway in Valencia and Madrid have the ball early and Ramos crosses after good work from Kaka. Good start from Real, who were held to a goalless draw here last season.
Cristiano claimed earlier this week that fans jeer him because he's good-looking, rich and a great player. Levante fans, showing their sense of humour, have a banner saying: "We're ugly, poor and not very good!"
On the bench for Madrid: Adan, Arbeloa, Diarra, Ozil, Callejon, Ronaldo, Higuain. Meanwhile, here's the Levante side: Munua; Javi Venta, Ballesteros, Nano, Juanfran; Xavi Torres, Iborra, Valdo, Barkero, Juanlu; Kone
Mourinho makes one more change, with Mesut Ozil left out and replaced by his compatriot Sami Khedira. The latter starts alongside Xabi Alonso in midfield, with Fabio Coentrao moving forward to a more attacking role. Here's the Madrid line-up: Casillas; Ramos, Pepe, Carvalho, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Khedira; Di Maria; Kaka, Coentrao; Benzema.
The big news is that Cristiano Ronaldo is on the bench fro Real, having apparently not fully recovered from an ankle problem which needed stitches after the midweek win at Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League. Kaka comes in for the Portuguese.
Hola and welcome to Goal.com's live coverage of Levante versus Real Madrid! I'm Ben Hayward and I'll be taking you through to full-time as Jose Mourinho's men look to return to the top of the table with a third straight win!!
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