Spanish La Liga
LevanteLevante1Real MadridReal Madrid2

Levante 1-2 Real Madrid: Visitors win thanks to VAR penalties

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale came off the bench and scored the winner

Real Madrid beat Levante thanks to two disputed penalties from Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale.

Benzema stepped up to score the opener after Luka Modric's cross hit the arms of Enis Bardhi, but Roger Marti deservedly equalised, having hit the post twice in the first half.

Real got another penalty for a Cheick Doukoure foul on Casemiro, which substitute Bale scored.

The visitors had defender Nacho sent off late on for two bookings.

Levante midfielder Ruben Rochina was dismissed from the bench with two minutes left after protesting against a refereeing decision. He had played the opening 60 minutes, picking up a booking for a foul, before being substituted off.

The result takes Real to within nine points of leaders Barcelona, going into two consecutive Clasicos.

They host Barca in the Copa del Rey semi-final second leg on Wednesday, and again in La Liga on Saturday.

VAR benefits Real in close game

Levante fans felt a real sense of injustice as their side, who drop to 13th in La Liga, lost after a commendable performance and whistled the referee at every opportunity.

Official Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva initially did not award a penalty when Luka Modric's cross hit the arms of Enis Bardhi, who had put it up to try to block his face.

He went over to a screen to watch the incident again, then gave the spot-kick which Benzema scored.

In the second half, Casemiro went down easily under pressure from Doukoure. Villanueva awarded the kick and, after discussions with the VAR officials, stuck with his decision - despite the Real Madrid midfielder appearing to dive.

To add to their grievances, they had two penalties turned down - for a Dani Carvajal foul on Jose Luis Morales and a Raphael Varane handball, with neither appearing to be referred by VAR.



Formation 3-5-2

  • 25Fernández
  • 18Cabaco
  • 14Nunes Vezo
  • 4Suárez Pier
  • 7Simon
  • 16RochinaBooked at 88minsSubstituted forDoukouréat 60'minutes
  • 24Campaña
  • 10BardhiSubstituted forVukcevicat 89'minutes
  • 22LunaBooked at 84mins
  • 9MartíBooked at 25minsSubstituted forDwamenaat 73'minutes
  • 11Morales


  • 5Doukouré
  • 6Chema
  • 13Olazábal
  • 17Vukcevic
  • 19López
  • 20Dwamena
  • 23Remeseiro Salgueiro

Real Madrid

Formation 4-3-3

  • 25Courtois
  • 2Carvajal
  • 5Varane
  • 6NachoBooked at 86mins
  • 23Reguilón
  • 10Modric
  • 14Casemiro
  • 8KroosSubstituted forValverdeat 69'minutes
  • 17VázquezBooked at 68mins
  • 9BenzemaSubstituted forBaleat 74'minutes
  • 28Vinícius JúniorSubstituted forAsensioat 83'minutes


  • 1Navas
  • 3Vallejo
  • 11Bale
  • 12Marcelo
  • 15Valverde
  • 20Asensio
  • 24Ceballos
Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva

Match Stats

Home TeamLevanteAway TeamReal Madrid
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Levante 1, Real Madrid 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Levante 1, Real Madrid 2.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Erick Cabaco.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked. Assisted by Marco Asensio.

  5. Post update

    Luka Modric (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Nikola Vukcevic (Levante).

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Federico Valverde (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Daniel Carvajal.

  8. Post update

    Lucas Vázquez (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Rober Pier (Levante).

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Levante. Nikola Vukcevic replaces Enis Bardhi.

  11. Dismissal

    Second yellow card to Rubén Rochina (Levante).

  12. Post update

    Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Erick Cabaco (Levante).

  14. Dismissal

    Second yellow card to Nacho (Real Madrid) for a bad foul.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Nacho (Real Madrid).

  16. Post update

    Raphael Dwamena (Levante) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  17. Booking

    Antonio Luna (Levante) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  18. Post update

    Luka Modric (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Antonio Luna (Levante).

  20. Post update

    Lucas Vázquez (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 24th February 2019

As It Stood

2Atl Madrid25148336171950
3Real Madrid25153743301348
7Real Betis2510692930-136
8Real Sociedad249783025534
10Ath Bilbao2571262528-333
16Real Valladolid2568111931-1226
17Celta Vigo2567123643-725
19Rayo Vallecano2565142843-1523
View full Spanish La Liga table

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