Consistent Levante to avoid La Liga drop


Levante’s battling performances in recent weeks looks set to spare them the heartbreak of La Liga relegation and an immediate return to the Segunda Division.

At the start of March the race to avoid the drop looked set to be firmly contested between Levante and Las Palamas, with Malaga and Deportivo set to go down regardless.

True to form, Malaga have lost twice and drawn once in March, while Clarence Seedorf’s Deportivo have yet to win a game under the Dutchman – drawing twice and losing once in March.

Las Palmas, who looked set to battle with Levante, have faltered badly this month, drawing twice and losing twice.

With their rivals struggling, Levante manager Paco Lopez’s message has been clear. Focus on our own games, get the results we need and take heart from positive performances earlier this season.

In 2017, Levante  beat Villarreal, Real Sociedad, Las Palmas,  and secured draws against Valencia, Deportivo, Real Madrid, Espanyol, Getafe, Eibar, Malaga, Sevilla and Leganes.

However their form from the turn of the year declined, and they were sucked into relegation trouble, with just two La Liga points gained prior to the start of March – including another draw against Real Madrid.

This has created the face-off with Las Palmas, however they have responded to the challenge in fine style.

They were unlucky not to pick up all three points at home to Espanyol, after key man Jose Luis Morales gave them the lead, only for a late Leo Baptistao penalty to steal a point.

Heartened by that performance, Levante followed it up with back-to-back La Liga wins over Getafe and Eibar.

Despite being reduced to 10 men against Getafe, former Sevilla captain Coke netted late on to seal a huge win.

Against an in form Eibar, Roger and Boateng were the goal scoring heroes, as Levante opened up a six point gap between themselves in 17th, and Las Palmas in 18th.

Both sides still have to play each other, on April 8th, but the dye looks cast to where Levante will be playing next season.

The most memorable image of Levante’s season is Cristiano Ronaldo’s famous shushing gesture to their fans, with Real Madrid leading 2-1, before Giampaolo Pazzini’s late equaliser.

However their greatest achievement will surely be putting together the type of relegation battling performances that were need at just the right time to save the club.

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