Marcelo off as Madrid draw again

Marcelo was shown a straight red card as Real Madrid dropped more points at home, drawing 1-1 with Levante in La Liga on Saturday. 

Relive how the action unfolded at the Santiago Bernabeu with Football Espana's liveblog!

Madrid failed to win their first two League games of the season at the Santiago Bernabeu for the first time in 22 years after a spirited Levante display, leaving Los Blancos already four points behind Barcelona if the Catalans beat Espanyol.

Zinedine Zidane named a youthful XI for the early kick-off, with full debuts in La Liga for Theo Hernandez and Marcos Llorente, but Gareth Bale dropped to the substitutes' bench.

Karim Benzema, guilty of several, gilt-edged misses against Valencia a fortnight ago, charged into the box early doors, but Jefferson Lerma’s perfectly-timed sliding tackle prevented him from pulling the trigger.

Levante, however, really stood up to Madrid in the opening 10 minutes. Ivi forced Dani Carvajal into a block in his own box, before shaking off the right-back in the six-yard box from a corner and flinging a half-volley past Kiko Casilla.

Theo soon gave a glimpse of what he could do as he got to the byline and cut back for Benzema, but the impressive Raul Fernandez threw his body in front of the striker just in time.

With still no goal-line technology in La Liga, an uncertain moment saw the Levante goalkeeper extend his arms in a desperate bid to keep out Lucas Vazquez’s awkward cross from the right.

Bale appeared earlier than planned as he replaced Benzema, who pulled with up with a suspected injury.

Iyi, meanwhile, was causing Madrid no end of problems as he bent a free kick inches wide of Casilla's left-hand post.

However, Los Merengues got their goal back when Vazquez mopped up Sergio Ramos’ header, which Raul couldn’t hold onto, from a yard out.

Bale then failed to guide a header on target from a couple of yards out, before he broke clear, with only Raul to beat, but had his finish turned around the far post by the goalkeeper.

Almost immediately after the restart, Bale looked to latch onto another long ball from the shoulder of Levante’s last defender, but Raul smothered in the nick of time.

The Welshman then powered a header onto the roof of the custodian’s net, but that was as good as it got for either side until the final 10 minutes.

Madness suddenly erupted down Los Merengues’ far right as Casilla, under pressure from Lerma, sprung off his line but missed the ball completely and needed Carvajal to hook it clear.

The Valencians spent the latter stages with their backs against the wall, including when Isco embarked on a superb run from his own box, rouletting on the way, before angling a pass for Asensio via Bale, but the winger’s half-volley was pushed away.

Moments after the Welshman headed the wrong side of Raul’s far post, however, Marcelo was given his marching orders after he kicked Lerma’s back while both men were down.

Toni Kroos – on his 100th La Liga appearance – could’ve stolen all the points with just seconds remaining, but his curler from outside the box clipped the post.

Real Madrid 1-1 Levante

Ivi 12 (L) Vazquez 36, Marcelo sent off 89 (RM)

Real Madrid: Casilla; Carvajal, Nacho, Ramos, Marcelo; Vazquez (Kovacic 72), Llorente (Isco 62), Kroos, Theo; Benzema (Bale 28), Asensio

Levante: Raul Fernandez; Ivan (Pedro Lopez 20), Postigo, Chema, Tono; Campana, Lerma; Ivi (Samu 68), Rober, Jason; Alegria (Boateng 55)

Referee: Hernandez Hernandez

La Liga - Club News