Real Madrid hand Atleti huge title boost with surprise defeat to Levante


Real Madrid paid the price for Eder Militao's early red card as Roger Marti recovered from a penalty miss to clinch a 2-1 away win for Levante in La Liga.

Defending champions Madrid played with 10 men for 81 minutes and could not hold out, as Roger settled Sunday's (AEDT) match after Jose Luis Morales cancelled out Marco Asensio's opener.

Asensio's goal came against the run of play following Militao's mishap, but Madrid still seemed set to claim a point when Thibaut Courtois brilliantly saved Roger's second-half spot-kick.

The inspired goalkeeper was belatedly beaten for a second time, though, as Los Blancos failed to close the seven-point gap to Atletico Madrid, who now have two games in hand and face Cadiz on Monday.

Turning the game on its head just nine minutes in, Militao was dismissed after referee David Medie visited the pitch-side monitor having only initially booked the centre-back for tangling with Sergio Leon as the last man.

The next big call went Madrid's way, however, as Medie ignored Gonzalo Melero's appeal for a foul in the home penalty area and Toni Kroos' outstanding pass sent Asensio clear to calmly finish on the counter.

The leveller seemed inevitable and Courtois could not reach a beautiful first-time effort from Morales, although the goalkeeper denied Roger either side of that strike.

Half-time slowed Levante's momentum, but further controversy was not far away and Courtois came to the fore again when a VAR review ruled Vinicius Junior's foul on Carlos Clerc was on the line of the penalty area, saving superbly from Roger's subsequent spot-kick.

It was still Roger who had the final say 12 minutes from time as he fired beyond Courtois when Madrid were caught cold from a corner, their defending decisively poor once more.

Source Omnisport