After taking 4 points from the opening three league games, Levante’s form has suffered with successive defeats to second placed Celtic, and then on Sunday a dissapointing 2 – 1 defeat at Club Brugge. It was the Belgian sides first win of the season, and a game that the visitors felt they were capable of winning prior to kick off.
The first goal was scored on 14 minutes. The home side going ahead via a free kick from Guillaume Gillet. The first half was fairly even, Damiao and N’Jie both spurning opportunities for Levante, but Gillet’s free kick split the sides at the break.
At the start of the second half, Brugge came out strongly. Meunier and Vossen bith missed opportunities within a couple of minutes of the kick off, and Levante soon made them pay. Last season’s player of the season, Brazillian midfielder Diego Souza expertly finished after a great ball from Clinton N’Jie.
On 64 minutes though, Brugge were back in front. This time Vormer smashed home to send the home fans into party mood.
In a fairly even game, Brugge took their chances, and Levante’s age old issue of conceding came back to haunt them once again. Brugge manager Davy Vandendriessche will be happy with his side’s win, and Parfitt will have some more homework to do.
It wasnt just the first team that dissapointed this weekend however. The youth side were in action again. This time against Greek side Olympiacos. A
After winning their first game 4 – 2 in Moscow against CSKA’s youngsters, spirits were high in Levantes’ youth camp. A drab affair finished 0 – 0 however. Parfitt said afterwards that he was pleased his side had kept a clean sheet, but that the forward players would need to work a bit harder next time.
Some of them wont have long to wait however. It is a very busy period for Levante as tonight they face French side Montpellier in the Top 100 Cup. Parfitt has named his side early, and shows 10 changes from Sunday night. Only goalkeeper Jiminez Roberto retains his place.
The back four will be the same one that turned out for Levante’s youth team. Eibar, another of the younsters, will anchor the midfield. Ikechi Anya and Slavoljub Srnic make their debuts tonight. Along with Gambian Modou Barrow they will be expected to create chances for front pair Isaac Success and Adam Szalai.
The Hungarian will be hopeful of a good performance tonight to get himself into the shop window for a move as soon as his TB is up at the end of the week.
It is unlikely to be his only opportunity to shine this week however, as the club have a World Club Cup game tomorrow againts Fenerbahce, they then face table toppers Dynamo Zagreb on Thursday, and Augsburg on Sunday.
Sandwiched in on Saturday is another fixture for the youngsters, as they also head to Germany to face Hertha Berlin. Across all competitions, the Augsburg game will be Levante’s seventh game in eight days. It is a tough time for the playing squad, but it is also an opportunity for those who havent really had an opportunity so far this season to stake a claim for a starting berth.
Off the pitch, Mohammed Rabiu has come in from Kuban Krasnodor. There wasnt really any plans to bring in any more first team players, but Mozambique international Mate Simao, the only player still at the club since Parfitt’s arrival, picked up a knock in Belgium and will be out for a couple of weeks.
At this moment, no more first team players are expected in, the focus will be more on shifting a few out of the exit door. There may be a few more youth players that sign however. Pre contract agreements have been made with players at another club, and both sides are happy with the agreement. There is also a bid in for another potential youth arrival.
Young goalkeeper Felipe Carvajal has also left on loan. He is in Italy with Hellas Verona, and was Verona’s MOTM in last Saturdays game against Genoa. Levante also have a couple of other youth players available on loan, and would like to see thm go and get a few minutes game time somewhere if at all possible.