Sunday, 27 February 2011
Match Report: Levante 2 Osasuna 1
José Luis Mendilibar proved he has all it takes to be an Osasuna manager with a 2-1 defeat away to relegation rivals Levante.
The former Athletic Bilbao coach saw his side produce a typically strong performance at home on his debut in last weekend’s 4-0 win over Espanyol. However, he saw the other side of being los rojillos manager in this performance as his side slumped to defeat thanks to a goal either side of half-time.
The home side started strongly, Juanlu’s effort touched onto the post by Ricardo inside the first 10 minutes.
The game then descended into a typically fierce relegation battle with neither side posing much threat until the visitors went ahead with their first effort on 41 minutes. Walter Pandiani with a trademark header from Masoud’s cross.
But Levante responded immediately and were level before half-time. Sergio Ballesteros with the final touch after Ricardo had again diverted an effort on to the post, this time from Xisco Muñoz.
And four minutes after the break Los Granotes were in front. Top scorer Felipe Caicedo taking advantage of poor defending by Nelson to fire past Rixcardo from the edge of the area.
Lekic then past up two chances to save a point for the visitors. Firstly, heading over a Camuñas cross after Osasuna had broken effectively for the first time in the match, then in stoppage time the Serbian hit the woodwork after more good work from Camuñas.
A massive victory for Levante took them above their opponents to 13th position, three points above the releagtion zone.
FT: Levante 2 (Ballesteros 44, Caicedo 49) – Osasuna 1 (Pandiani 41)