March 17, 2013
Levante Euro hopes dented
Levante's hopes of another European adventure next season are looking increasingly bleak after a 1-1 draw at relegation-battling Granada.
The Valencia-based side enjoyed a memorable maiden campaign in Europe this term, reaching the last 16 before being knocked out by Rubin Kazan, but that run looks to have had a negative impact on their league form.
They were in the top six in January but just one win in 10 matches since then has seen them slump down to 11th place, seven points adrift of the European spots.
Today's result was another disappointing one, although it might have been even worse for Juan Ignacio Martinez's side with Granada taking a 32nd-minute lead through Guilherme Siqueira's penalty.
Levante did at least manage to get back on terms thanks to substitute Robert Acquafresca's equaliser five minutes after half-time, but they could not go on to find a winner in a fractious match that saw 15 players booked.
Neither goalkeeper was tested in the opening exchanges with the majority of efforts coming from distance and with little accuracy, but just after the half-hour mark Granada were given the perfect chance to go ahead when Pedro Lopez handled in the box.
And Siqueira was not about to waste the opportunity, the Brazilian slotting the resulting penalty past Gustavo Munua.
With notable goalmouth incidents still at a premium, the next decent opening for either side resulted in Levante's equaliser at the start of the second half.
Acquafresca, having replaced Pedro Rios at the break, made an immediate impact as he turned in Michel's left-wing cross.
Granada pushed for a winner late on as they looked to move further away from the relegation zone, but Yacine Brahimi and Youssef El Arabi saw efforts saved by Munua as the spoils were shared.