Pressure Mounts On Lopetegui As Madrid Beaten By Levante, Set Record

Sunday, 21 Oct, 2018

Marcelo pulled a goal back for Madrid at the 72nd minute, but that was not enough as Levante saw the match through in stunning fashion, where the presence of a certain Cristiano Ronaldo was drastically missed by the white end of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. While Levante thoroughly deserved its 2-0 lead, courtesy of goals by Jose Luis Morales and Roger Marti inside the first 13 minutes, and had chances to put the game away with a third, the home team put forth a furious second-half effort.

Lopetegui, sacked as Spain coach on the eve of the World Cup after announcing he was joining Real, has lost five games in all competitions since taking over the European champions.

Marco Asensio scored Los Blancos' last goal in the 41st minute of their 1-0 win over Espanyol on September 22.

Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui said losing his job is "the last thing" on his mind following another defeat - but should he be concerned?

The Wales forward joined his national team during the global break but did not feature in the 3-0 friendly defeat to Spain or the 1-0 UEFA Nations League win over Republic of Ireland due to muscle fatigue.

Levante stunned the home fans into silence when they were awarded a penalty in weird circumstances for a handball by the hapless Varane on the line of the penalty area, which was finally given after consulting the video assistant referee (VAR) just as the visitors were about to take a free kick.

"I have full confidence in the squad I have and I'm convinced we're going to bounce back". The first was more blatant as he misjudged the flight of Sergio Postigo's through ball, allowing Morales to nick it round Thibaut Courtois and fire into the open net. Frenchman Varane was at fault again, when he handled inside the area. Real hit the woodwork three times and had two goals ruled out.

Benzema shot straight at Oier Olazabal, who then pushed a bending Bale free-kick wide.

Madrid is fifth in the table but, given it is kicking off before its rivals this matchday, would jump top with a win over Levante.

The 1-0 defeat to Alaves on the eve of the worldwide break led to widespread rumors that Lopetegui was on the verge of losing his job.