‘Real Madrid clearly miss Ronaldo’

The reigning European champions continue to struggle in La Liga and Saturday’s opponent believes selling last season’s star is the reason

Levante goalkeeper Oier Olazabal says Real Madrid are missing Cristiano Ronaldo, claiming the European champions are “not as good as usual” after his side’s 2-1 win over Julen Lopetegui’s men on Saturday.

Goals from Jose Luis Morales and Roger Marti gave Levante the lead within the first 15 minutes of their trip to the Santiago Bernabeu and they were able to hold out for the three points despite a Marcelo goal in the second-half.

Madrid have now lost four and drawn one of their last five matches in all competitions, prompting suggestions that new coach Lopetegui could be sacked if his team fail to pick up a good result against Barcelona next week.

Madrid had 34 shots against Levante and Olazabal was pivotal in seeing out the result by making 11 saves – the most a goalkeeper has made in a single La Liga game this season.

But former Barcelona keeper Olazabal suggested the reigning Champions League winners would have at least pulled level had they held on to the man who scored 450 goals in nine years in the Spanish capital.

“Even they are not as good as they usually are, that aim they have,” he told Cadena Ser.

“Cristiano brings you a lot of goals. He scored 50 goals per season and it is clear that they miss them.

“I enjoyed it, to win at the Santiago Bernabeu is nice. It is a historic moment for this squad and this club.”

Madrid are now four points behind league leaders Barcelona before the two sides meet on Sunday at Camp Nou.