Spanish La Liga
Real Madrid3Levante2

Eden Hazard makes debut in Real Madrid win over Levante

Eden Hazard comes on as a substitute to make his Real Madrid debut
Eden Hazard came on for Casemiro after an hour at the Bernabeu

Eden Hazard made his Real Madrid debut as Karim Benzema scored twice in a nervy La Liga win over Levante.

Hazard, a summer signing from Chelsea, has recovered from a muscle injury and came on after 60 minutes at 3-1.

Real had led 3-0, with Benzema scoring a header and slotting home a James Rodriguez pass, before Casemiro netted.

But Borja Mayoral scored against his parent club and then Gonzalo Melero set up a tense ending with a header that beat Thibaut Courtois at his near post.

Real almost blew a three-goal lead in La Liga for the first time since 1946, but Ruben Vezo's header in injury time was turned away by an instinctive Courtois save, the Belgian's only stop of the game.

Hazard finally makes his bow

Belgium forward Hazard waited years to get his dream move to Real Madrid - in a deal which could end up costing £150m - and he had to wait a few weeks more for his debut after suffering an injury in pre-season.

He replaced goalscorer Casemiro after an hour, and was immediately in the action - setting up a chance for Vinicius Jr, which was blocked, and then having a shot saved by Aitor Fernandez.

However, short of fitness, the 27-year-old became a peripheral figure as Levante started to grow into the game - though he did manage 29 touches of the ball, a 100% passing rate and two shots on target, as well as winning three free-kicks.

Whether he has done enough - or is fit enough - to start at Paris St-Germain in Wednesday's Champions League opener remains to be seen.

Real frailties show again

Karim Benzema celebrates scoring for Real Madrid against Levante
Karim Benzema has scored 19 goals in La Liga in 2019 - only Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe have scored more in the top five European leagues

The overhaul of the squad that Zinedine Zidane wanted failed to fully materialise in the summer, although six of the seven men on the bench were new recruits, including Hazard and fellow debutant Eder Militao.

After failing to land Paul Pogba in the summer, and letting Dani Ceballos and Marcos Llorente leave, they found themselves with only three fit midfielders in the squad for the Levante game because of injuries.

Nonetheless, Real appeared in complete control at 3-0 up, with Benzema scoring his seventh La Liga double since the start of last season and Casemiro adding a third.

Benzema and Lucas Vazquez also hit the woodwork, while Vinicius Jr had a goal disallowed.

But the hosts, who had drawn their previous two games, have not kept a clean sheet since 28 April and looked fragile again at the back.

A summer policy change almost cost them on Saturday. In previous years, they have not allowed their loan players to feature against them, but they do now and Mayoral refused to celebrate after tucking home Carlos Clerc's cross.

And panic mode set in after Melero made it 3-2, especially with Casemiro and captain Sergio Ramos having already been substituted. But Courtois saved them late on with a stop from Vezo as they saw out their first home win of the season.

Line-ups

Real Madrid

  • 13Courtois
  • 2Carvajal
  • 5Varane
  • 4RamosSubstituted forMilitãoat 60'minutes
  • 12Marcelo
  • 14CasemiroBooked at 28minsSubstituted forE Hazardat 60'minutes
  • 17VázquezBooked at 40mins
  • 16Rodríguez
  • 8Kroos
  • 25Vinícius Júnior
  • 9BenzemaSubstituted forJovicat 83'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Areola
  • 3Militão
  • 6Nacho
  • 7E Hazard
  • 18Jovic
  • 23Mendy
  • 27Silva de Goes

Levante

  • 13Fernández
  • 20Miramón
  • 14Nunes VezoBooked at 80mins
  • 6DuarteSubstituted forMeleroat 68'minutes
  • 15Postigo
  • 19ClercBooked at 90mins
  • 16RochinaSubstituted forMartíat 68'minutes
  • 17VukcevicSubstituted forBardhiat 56'minutes
  • 24Campaña
  • 21Mayoral
  • 11Morales

Substitutes

  • 1Olazábal
  • 7León
  • 9Martí
  • 10Bardhi
  • 18Cabaco
  • 22Melero
  • 23Andújar Moreno
Referee:
Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea
Attendance:
60,726

Match Stats

Home TeamReal MadridAway TeamLevante
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home25
Away8
Shots on Target
Home11
Away3
Corners
Home9
Away6
Fouls
Home13
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Real Madrid 3, Levante 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Real Madrid 3, Levante 2.

Attempt missed. José Luis Morales (Levante) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Sergio Postigo.

Attempt saved. Rúben Vezo (Levante) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by José Campaña.

Foul by Eder Militão (Real Madrid).

Borja Mayoral (Levante) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Booking

Carlos Clerc (Levante) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Carlos Clerc (Levante).

Offside, Real Madrid. Thibaut Courtois tries a through ball, but Eden Hazard is caught offside.

Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Enis Bardhi (Levante).

Attempt missed. James Rodríguez (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Lucas Vázquez with a cross.

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Carlos Clerc.

Substitution

Substitution, Real Madrid. Luka Jovic replaces Karim Benzema.

Attempt missed. James Rodríguez (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Toni Kroos.

Corner, Levante. Conceded by Daniel Carvajal.

Booking

Rúben Vezo (Levante) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Rúben Vezo (Levante).

Attempt missed. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by James Rodríguez.

Attempt missed. Gonzalo Melero (Levante) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Enis Bardhi.

Foul by Karim Benzema (Real Madrid).

Gonzalo Melero (Levante) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal!

Goal! Real Madrid 3, Levante 2. Gonzalo Melero (Levante) header from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by José Campaña with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Levante. Conceded by Daniel Carvajal.

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Jorge Miramón.

Attempt missed. Carlos Clerc (Levante) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.

Corner, Levante. Conceded by Eder Militão.

Attempt blocked. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Toni Kroos with a cross.

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Aitor Fernández.

Attempt saved. Vinícius Júnior (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by James Rodríguez with a through ball.

Attempt missed. Vinícius Júnior (Real Madrid) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Marcelo.

Offside, Levante. Roger Martí tries a through ball, but José Luis Morales is caught offside.

Offside, Levante. Sergio Postigo tries a through ball, but Roger Martí is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Levante. Roger Martí replaces Rubén Rochina.

Substitution

Substitution, Levante. Gonzalo Melero replaces Óscar Duarte.

Foul by Eden Hazard (Real Madrid).

Rubén Rochina (Levante) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Toni Kroos.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 14th September 2019

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Atl Madrid43015419
2Real Madrid42209638
3Ath Bilbao42204138
4Barcelona421112757
5Sevilla32104137
6Real Sociedad42114317
7Levante42026516
8Villarreal412110825
9Osasuna31203215
10Alavés31202115
11Granada31117524
12Celta Vigo311134-14
13Real Valladolid311134-14
14Valencia411257-24
15Mallorca411224-24
16Real Betis310258-33
17Getafe302123-12
18Eibar301235-21
19Espanyol301205-51
20Leganés400417-60
View full Spanish La Liga table

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