Late equaliser costs Real Madrid two more points away to Levante

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Madrid, Feb 4 (IANS) Real Madrid dropped a further two points in their disappointing La Liga football campaign as they were held to a 2-2 draw away to struggling Levante.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane had said his side still had a hope of the title despite kicking off the weekend 19 points behind FC Barcelona and Madrid opened the scoring in the 11th minute with a Sergio Ramos header on Saturday, reports Xinhua news agency.

Madrid were far from fluid however, and Levante equalized before the break thanks to a smart finish from Emmanuel Boateng, who slotted the ball home from outside the area.

The second half saw Real Madrid try and fail to score until Isco, who had replaced Gareth Bale earlier, finished after good work from Karim Benzema with 9 minutes left.

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Zidane then replaced Ronaldo and paid for that as Levante snatched a late equalizer from recent signing Giampaulo Pazzini after some poor defending from Madrid.

Eibar kicked off the day with a 5-1 thrashing of a hapless Sevilla in a game they led from the moment Kike Garcia opened the scoring in the 40th second.

Fabian Orellana added two more, while Ivan Ramis and Arbilla, who scored a late free kick, rounded off the scoring.

Loren Moron had a dream debut for Betis as he scored both goals which gave his side a 2-1 win at home to Villarreal.

Carlos Bacca scored a penalty for Villarreal, who had to play for an hour with 10 men after Daniele Bonera was sent off for a high challenge.

Alaves took another step towards avoiding relegation with a 2-1 win at home to Celta Vigo, who would have gone sixth with a win. Alaves started strongly and were 2-0 up by the 18th minute thanks to goals from Alfonso Pedraza and Munir.

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Iago Aspas netted his 15th goal of the campaign in injury time, but it was too late for Celta to salvage a point.

–IANS

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