BARCELONA, Sept 9 (Reuters) – La Liga champions Real Madrid dropped points at home for the second game running when they drew 1-1 with Levante on Saturday, with Gareth Bale squandering a series of chances and Marcelo getting sent off late on.
Ivan ‘Ivi’ Lopez gave the visitors a shock lead in the 12th minute, flicking the ball into the air over Dani Carvajal as he tried to control a long throw-in and volleying into the near corner.
The Spanish forward came close to doubling the lead from a free kick which whistled past the near post but Real pulled themselves level in the 36th minute when Lucas Vazquez tapped in from close range after Levante goalkeeper Raul Fernandez could only parry a header from Sergio Ramos.
Fernandez made amends for that slip by denying Bale on the stroke of half-time after the Wales international raced through on goal unchallenged, and he also kept out another effort by Bale and strikes from Toni Kroos and Marco Asensio.
The goalkeeper’s best save came from a low-struck effort from Marcelo, who in frustration rolled to the floor, kicking Levante’s Jefferson Lerma in the process and earning a straight red card in the 89th minute.
Real had one final chance to snatch a win when Kroos went for goal from the edge of the area but saw his shot bounce off the outside of the far post, leaving Zinedine Zidane’s side with five points from their first three league games.
Barcelona will be looking to take advantage of Real’s slip-up when they host local rivals Espanyol later on Saturday, while Atletico Madrid visit Valencia. (Editing by Clare Fallon)