Levante boss Juan Ramon Lopez Muniz has discussed his happiness after his side held Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Saturday afternoon.
Having failed to beat Valencia prior to the international break, Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane knew his side had to beat Levante on Saturday to keep up with Barcelona, who look favourites to make it three wins out of three against Espanyol later in the evening.
But it was Muniz’s side that started the game brighter as Ivi opened the scoring, spinning past Dani Carvajal before slotting past Keylor Navas.
The game was largely dominated by Madrid but with very few chances and Zidane’s early misery was compounded further as Karim Benzema was forced off with injury, being replaced by Welsh winger Gareth Bale.
And, the Levante boss has praised his players for their efforts against the La Liga champions.
“It is necessary for the team to know what it is doing and they competed well,” said Muniz to reporters after the game.
“We came knowing that it would be a difficult match and we had to make as few errors as possible. Madrid pressed a lot in the second half but we did not show any fear and we coped well even though as you would expect they had four chances.
“The players in the dressing room looked keen and the fact is you have to respect Madrid but not fear them. We knew that they were going to attack but we played very well. In the second half it was not easy as madrid did not let us have possession but the key was our desire and hard work.”
Madrid did level through the lively Lucas Vazquez, who tapped home following Sergio Ramos’ saved effort from Raul Fernandez.
Moving forward, Muniz attempted to halt the notion that Levante were still a Segunda side and that his team were ready to compete at the highest level.
“It is a squad that competes well and it was key for us to keep the main block the same,” said Muniz.
“This is a family and we all know each other well. We know what we have to do and the players are now showing that they are not a second division team but they can compete with the best.
“We have to enjoy this result but on Tuesday we need to think about the next game because in the league you get your reward from consistency.”