Levante ran out 2-0 winners at Riazor in a match that saw both sides finish with 10 men, Deportivo miss a penalty and finish with a makeshift goalkeeper.
It was a disruptive opening for home side Deportivo, as they lost both starting centre-backs Ze Castro and Carlos Marchena to injury inside the first 15 minutes of play. It proved to be the difference as an otherwise even first 45 fell in Levante’s favour as Depor’s makeshift central two both left Obafemi Martins to each other in trying to deal with a long goal-kick. The Nigerian ran through unguarded into 30 yards of space to round the goalkeeper and make it 1-0 to the visitors.
The second half saw Depor respond and they were handed a golden opportunity when Pedro Lopez handled inside the box on 52. Whilst facing away from play, the right-back did block a cross with a raised hand, which also earned him a second yellow card. However, the home side could not take full advantage of the situation, as Riki blasted his penalty high over the bar.
They were made to regret that a little over 15 minutes later when goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia was dismissed for a second yellow card for a foul on Martins. With all three substitutions having been made already, it was down to midfielder Alex Bergantinos to spend the remaining 20 minutes of the match defending the home side’s goal.
Whilst Depor responded with some pressing of their own in attack, Javier Barkero capitalised on the makeshift goalkeeper at the other end, as his bouncing effort from 25 yards went underneath Bergantinos’ attempt at saving to make it 2-0 to Levante with less than 10 left to play.