Real Madrid suffered a shock home defeat on Saturday to Levante, losing 2-1 after going down to 10 men. Real took the lead 13 minutes in, but the red card to Eder Militao proved costly as the visitors scored a goal in each half to take three points and put a dent in Real's title hopes.
Levante move up to ninth with the win and have now gone four matches unbeaten.
This was the turning point in the game. As Levante went on the counter, Militao committed a foul that was initially called a yellow card. After VAR was called upon, the referee then changed the card to red, sending the Brazilian centerback to an early showed.
That's a clear red card, all day and it was surprising he wasn't set off before a review was needed. He stops the challenge from behind, it wasn't clean, and he deservedly gets sent to the sideline. As a result, he essentially misses out on two games as this occurred so early in this one.
Attacking woes evident
Having a player less made a little impact in their possession, but it really shouldn't have. Zinedine Zidane did not bring on an extra center back, instead opting to play with three in the back, and they paid dearly for it. There was too much space next to Raphael Varane, and even with the same number of people going forward, Real created just two shots on goal. After Jose Luis Morales' leveler in the 32nd minute, it was Roger Marti that sealed it in the 78th minute as Levante out-shot Real 14-8 overall and had six more shots on goal than Madrid.
It's a result that is concerning as they have just one win in their last five games in all competitions, and the attack could not follow up after four goals last time out. Madrid's average shot distance was from outside the 18-yard box, and with Levante sitting deep, it was a game that didn't come close to featuring any sort of comeback for inconsistent Real.