Cárdenas guides the way forward for Levante
Saturday, March 25, 2023, 7:41 p.m.
Levante de Calleja returned to the basic formula that they know works to break the losing streak and rediscover victory: simplicity in the game, forcefulness, trade, effectiveness in front of goal and not conceding goals. It is the 2+2 granota. Racing de Santander, encouraged by their fans, tried in every possible way, but failed to tear down the wall that the Valencian team built. Cárdenas produced one of his best performances, adding the two most decisive actions that a goalkeeper can be given: stopping a penalty and keeping a clean sheet.
With the victory in Cantabrian lands, Levante sleeps in direct promotion positions waiting for what Las Palmas and Granada do, who play this Sunday against Sporting and Oviedo respectively. Because Levante is already there. Reconnected with those above. Gone is the bump of the three games without winning after accumulating twenty without losing. Given the high level shown by Eibar, leader of the silver category, there is no other choice but to grit your teeth and add everything possible to finish the remaining nine days in those long-awaited positions that issue a direct ticket to the First Division. Because that’s the goal. Avoid the play-off.
As for the game, Montiel’s solitary goal —rather, great goal— in the fourth game was more than enough. But it is that he did not need more. It was precisely in a direct free kick that ended up being Levante’s only shot on goal in the entire game. The man from Madrid, who had already had a warning in the first minutes of the game with a similar shot that went off just touching the crossbar, once again polished off his golden left foot to place the ball in the top corner, unattainable for Parera.
An error by Iborra in the area gave Racing the opportunity to tie the contest from eleven meters. Without detracting from Cárdenas’ success, Pombo’s poor shot made it easier to save a widely telegraphed penalty. The nerves of risking his permanence in Segunda got the better of the Racinguista striker, who could not deceive the Granota goalkeeper who was very confident throughout the game.
Up to six stops – four of them from within the area – recorded the statistics. Levante has one of the best —if not the best— goalkeeper in the category. And he will have to take care of him, since it should be remembered that he has four yellow cards and if he sees one next, it will result in a sanction, which would make him miss a game —and leave his place to Femenías— in the final and key stretch of the season. The same sanction that made Saracchi have to be replaced by a Postigo that put the negative note on the match. In his return to ownership, he lasted only 28 minutes on the pitch. Again, a muscle problem forced one of the Levante captains to leave injured. Son had to take his place and was placed on the left back, a position he knows well from the final stretch of last season with Lisci in charge, modifying the defense so that Álex Muñoz became a central defender.
Jorge de Frutos, sent off for a direct red card against Málaga, could not be present at El Sardinero. And boy was it noticed. Musonda took his place to the surprise of many, just as Soldado came in for Cantero in the last eleven after recovering from his injury. And it is that the second half was a demonstration of how to manage an advantage. Levante withdrew, waiting for a chance to counterattack, while Racing despaired as they watched the sand fall on the clock. Campaña also returned, entering as a revulsive leaving a couple of details of his quality. In short, a triumph that needs to be taken to climb. In a rival field, with little prominence but with effectiveness. To follow.
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