Under-fire Lopetegui not thinking about sack as Real slide continues

Silvia Morton
October 21, 2018

Without Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time in almost a decade, Real Madrid reached the worst scoring drought in its history.

Prior to the September recess, they had scored 12 goals in four competitive fixtures, but subsequently they have mustered only five in seven games, three of which came at once against Roma in Europe.

Mid-table Levante seemed the flawless opponent to face, but with a front-line led by the precocious Jose Luis Morales, the visitors had no intention of playing for a point.

The striker's curling 20-yard strike hit the post in the closing stages, and that was the nearest Madrid came to an equaliser, with Mariano's late tap-in ruled out for offside in a match that kept the officials busy.

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However, in a recent interview Hazard spoke of his respect for Mourinho and his desire to play for his former manager again. The ability to score so late in games was a hallmark of Sir Alex Ferguson's great Manchester United teams.

Lopetegui was already under huge scrutiny after defeats to Sevilla, CSKA Moscow and Deportivo Alaves, along with a goalless draw against Atletico Madrid in the last four games.

AS were also critical of Real, reflecting on the woeful start that they made to the game, with their headline reading: "impotent". Morales kept his eyes on Sergio Postigo's long ball, as Raphael Varane failed to, took the ball around keeper Thibaut Courtois and slotted in.

Real had chances to score, but could only pull one back through Marcelo in the dying moments of the game.

It was initially believed that Madrid had broken their own record for going goalless, before it was confirmed that in one of the games in their worst-ever run had gone to extra time, adding 30 extra minutes onto the presumed tally of 465 minutes, nearly eight hours of play. He scored 50 goals per season and it is clear that they miss them.

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