Real Madrid bounced back to winning ways in La Liga as they fought to a 2-1 win against a spirited Levante side on Sunday evening.
Levante were the better of the two sides during the first half, but Real Madrid were awarded with an opportunity to open the scoring from the spot shortly before half-time following a VAR referral. Karim Benzema stepped up and confidently stroked his spot kick home to give Los Blancos the advantage.
Levante were able to draw level on the hour mark, but Real were able to restore their lead late on after another VAR referral awarded a second penalty of the evening, with Gareth Bale converting. Nacho Fernandez and Ruben Rochina were then sent off during the closing exchanges and Los Blancos were able to cling on to the win.
Check out the full breakdown of the match below.
Starting XI: Fernandez (6), Cabacco (6), Vezo (6), Rober (6); Simon (8), Rochina (6), Campana (7), Bardhi (6), Luna (6); Roger (7), Morales (8).
Substitutes: Doukoure (6), Raphael (5), Vukcevic (N/A).
Key Talking Point
Real Madrid were below par when they slipped to a 2-1 defeat against Girona last weekend and Santiago Solari responded to that defeat by making five changes for this one.
Despite the various changes, it was another disappointing performance from Real Madrid and, if Levante were more clinical in the final third, then the evening could have been a whole lot more embarrassing. Possession was slow, laboured and, with the exception of Vinicius Jr, uninspiring.
With a big match againstBarcelona on the horizon, Real Madrid need to get their act together - especially as winning La Liga appears to be an impossible dream right about now.
Starting XI: Courtois (6), Carvajal (5), Nacho (5), Varane (6), Reguilon (7); Modric (6), Casemiro (5), Kroos (5); Vasquez (5), Vinicius Jr. (7), Benzema (6).
Substitutes: Valverde (5), Bale (7), Asensio (N/A).
STAR MAN - If Vinicius can sort out his decision making in front of goal then there is no doubting that he can go on to become a world beater for Los Blancos.
He was Real's most energetic forward and there was a genuine sense of panic amongst the Levante defence whenever he picked up the ball on the left flank. The goals and assists aren't coming just yet, but all the signs are currently positive for the young Brazilian.
REMINDER: Vinicius Jr is the real deal.— Prof Yinka (@GalacticoNG) February 24, 2019
Vinicius is fast.— Scott Saunders (@_scottsaunders) February 24, 2019
Yes I am watching La Liga On ITV4
Levante are back in action next Monday as they face off against Leganes, whilst Real Madrid will begin their preparations for their Copa del Rey semi-final second leg against Barcelona on Wednesday.