Real Madrid Femenino: 3 takeaways from a heartbreaking loss to Levante

Real Madrid Femenino, Marta Cardona (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid Femenino, Marta Cardona (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid Femenino scored in the first half and seemed in control of the match, but they lost superiority of possession in the second half. They made two critical errors that were punished by Levante’s talented attack in the second half. The first goal was by Pichcihi leader Esther Gonzalez, and the second was a 93rd-minute winner buried by the underrated Alba Redondo.

Here are three takeaways from Las Blancas’ 2-1 loss to Levante at home on Sunday evening.

Real Madrid missed Olga Carmona

Olga Carmona was controversially sent off in the 12th minute of last weekend’s big derby win over Atletico Madrid, and while Las Blancas withstood her absence for the rest of the 90, they very much missed her on Matchday 23.

Marta Corredera had her worst game of the season at left back in Carmona’s place, surprisingly struggling in possession. She was culpable for the first goal scored by Esther.

But mostly, Real missed the way Carmona can stretch the left side of the pitch and get into dangerous areas, allowing Sofia Jakobsson to drift inside. Jakobsson was more isolated in this match without Carmona taking up those wider positions, and the attack, as a whole, suffered and had to rely on Kenti Robles and the right side without Carmona available.

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This loss could be a setback

As exhilarating as last week’s win over Atletico Madrid was, this loss to Levante puts Real in the same position they were before the win over Atleti. Now, Las Blancas sit four points behind Levante in the table in third place, and they are just three points ahead of another rival in fourth place, Madrid CFF. And Madrid CFF have a game in hand over Real Madrid.

The Champions League race is tight, and it is still going to be a real fight for Real after this tough loss. Only the top three teams make it, and, now, Real are mostly fighting for a spot that would merely get them into the first of the two knockout rounds before the actual group stages even begin.

Marta Cardona provides some magic again

Marta Cardona is an incredible player, and we were all amazed by her goal against Real Sociedad in which she curled the ball brilliantly with her left foot from long range.

While Cardona did not score or assist against Levante, she had the pass to the assist and accomplished this goal-creating play with the greatest of aplomb. She literally passed the ball into Robles’ path on a roulette turn, producing another fine bit of skill. Robles set up Aurelie Kaci, who made no mistake with the goal at her mercy.

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Cardona has been a pleasure to watch each and every week and is a fan favorite among the Madridistas. She provided another example of her class this weekend against Levante, even in a difficult defeat.