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Madrid drop another 2 points with surprise draw against Levante
Last Updated: 2017-09-11 08:09 | Xinhua
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Real Madrid's stuttering start to the season continued on Saturday when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to recently promoted Levante.

Although Lucas Vazquez cancelled out Ivi's early opener for levanter before halftime, Real Madrid were unable to turn second half possession into clear cut chances or goals and although Tony Kroos hit the outside of the post in injury time.

Zinedine Zidane produced several changes to his side giving first starts to Marcos Llorente and Theo Hernandez, while leaving Gareth Bale on the substitutes' bench.

After Marcos Asensio went close in the opening minute and Karim Benzema was denied by a past gasp challenge, Levante took a surprise lead after Ivi reacted fast following a long throw and was able to volley the ball past Kiko Casilla in the Madrid goal.

Things got worse for Madrid after 25 minutes when Benzema was forced off with what looked to be a knee injury and Ivi went close to a second goal when he fired into the side netting.

However, as Madrid pressed a well-organized rival deeper into their half, they got their reward when Lucas Vazquez equalized from close range after Raul Fernandez had done well to parry Sergio Ramos' header from a corner.

Bale then had two chances to put Madrid ahead, but saw a header glanced just wide, before Raul did well to save his left foot shot after he had used his pace to get round the back of the Levante defense.

The second half saw Madrid increase the pressure on their rivals, but with Raul saving well from Asensio and Marcelo, who saw a red card for lashing out at Lerma in injury time, the best chances again fell to Bale, who saw one header go over the bar and another bounce agonizingly wide.

Levante were able to take a point, while Madrid were left to lament missed chances and perhaps the lack of a back-up striker.

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