Argentina World Cup midfielder ANGEL DI MARIA of Real Madrid, who was purchased this summer by the Spanish side from Portuguese outfit Benfica Lisbon for an initial fee of 25.0 million Euros with a further 11.0 million Euros from incentive clauses on offer, attempts to settle the ball ahead of Levante Valencia midfielder JUNALU (20) at the Estadio Ciudad de Valencia on the east coast of Spain. (Jose Jordan/AFP)
Matchday # 5
0 – Levante Valencia
0 – Real Madrid
Despite dominating in terms of possession and quality scoring chances, star-studded REAL MADRID were left goalless in the away match with La Liga newcomers LEVANTE VALENCIA and, in the process, lost top spot in the Spanish Primera Division in the process.
The shots-at-goal statistic was completely one-sided, with Real Madrid piling up a 25-4 advantage against Levante Valencia. Spain’s World Cup champion goalkeeper IKER CASILLAS was not called upon to make even one save by the home side. Real Madrid, meanwhile, struggled mightily to find the target while UE Levante goalkeeper MANOLO (Manuel Reina Rodriguez) did his part with six saves.
A satisfying result, then, for UE Levante left back ASIER DEL HORNO, on loan from cross-town rival CF Valencia. The 29-year-old, who has won 10 caps (2 goals) for Spain in his career, started 25 league games (1 goal) and made 34 appearances in all competitions overall for Real Madrid’s Portuguese manager JOSE MOURINHO with FC Chelsea in the English Premier League during the 2005-06 campaign.
LEVANTE VALENCIA : Manolo ; del Horno, Ballesteros, Nano, Cerrajeria ; Juanlu (Xisco Nadal 86′), Xavi Torres, Sergio, Nacho ; Xisco (Ruben Suarez 49′) ; Stuani (Rafa Jorda 67′)
REAL MADRID : Casillas ; Marcelo, Carvalho, Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos ; Khedira, Xabi Alonso, Oezil (Benzema 62′) ; Di Maria (Leon 62′), Higuain, Ronaldo
With arms outstretched, Portugal World Cup star forward CRISTIANO RONALDO of Real Madrid is tackled by Levante Valencia defender SERGIO BALLESTEROS (left) at the Estadio Ciudad de Valencia. (Reuters photo)
As UE Levante goalkeeper MANOLO holds the ball and looks on, 35-year-old veteran defender SERGIO BALLESTEROS gestures with an elbow directly at Real Madrid’s youthful Portugal World Cup star attacker, CRISTIANO RONALDO, at the Estadio Ciudad de Valencia. (Jose Jordan/AFP)