Levante stunned Real Madrid 1-0 on Saturday, toppling Zinedine Zidane’s men from La Liga’s throne and handing them their first league loss since October, with a goal that is fitting for the importance of the situation.
Captain Jose Luis Morales, 32, sprinted down the left flank before finding Nikola Vukcevic’s lofting, through ball. The rest is history, really:
Morales’ first goal of the season is a big one for Levante – both on a results and emotional sense – moving them eight points behind sixth-place Sevilla. But it, undoubtably, works in Barcelona’s favor the most, who reclaimed the league’s top spot after Madrid’s loss and their 5-0 of Eibar.
The La Liga season is under way today, and already the Spanish top flight has a strong candidate for goal of the season.
Levante is hoping to follow up last season’s disappointing 15th place finish with a more respectable spot in the table, and they’re off to a great start with a 2-0 win over Real Betis thanks in part to the unbelievable work by 31-year-old winger Jose Luis Morales.
The Spaniard took the ball in his own half on the right wing and rocketed forward at blistering pace, rounding all four defenders he faced as he sped towards the net. First, he whipped around William Carvalho who was utterly baffled and spun around helplessly just past the mid-line. Then he expertly touched the ball perfectly to avoid a tackle from behind by former Barcelona defender Marc Bartra. The brilliant touch also wrong-footed young Francis Guerrero who Morales jolted past, and finally Sergio Canales came sliding in with a last-ditch effort, but Morales cut back, leaving the former Real Madrid midfielder on the seat of his pants.
With just the goalkeeper to beat now, Morales hit a wonderful finish, somehow using the outside of his right foot to touch into the bottom-left corner, leaving a bemused Pau Lopez to figure out what the heck just happened. All of this took place with Morales moving at lightning speed, and fans were left dazzled by the incredible sight.
On the replay, it showed Morales may have been slightly fortunate as Bartra’s tackle appeared to have been somewhat successful in getting a touch on the ball, but it instead aided Morales’s run past the final two defenders. Either way, it’s unbelievable work from the Levante winger.
The goal put Levante 2-0 up in the 54th minute, and the scoreline would remain that way until Morales grabbed a second for a 3-0 final, giving Levante the first victory of the entire La Liga season.