Real Madrid secured a slightly flattering 5-1 win over Levante after goals from Gonzalo Higuain, Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil.
The result extends Real’s unbeaten run in all competitions at the Bernabeu to 39 games and puts them four points ahead of city rivals Atletico Madrid in the race to finish second in La Liga.
Madrid manager Jose Mourinho made a number of changes to the team that had dismantled Galatasaray during the week, resting Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil, with Iker Casillas returning to the squad following injury, although Diego Lopez kept his place in the starting line-up.
The line-up replacements didn’t appear to effect the home side in the early exchanges, with Real monopolizing possession in the opening half an hour.
But it was Levante who took the lead on the half hour mark when Michel turned home after good work on the counter attack by Pedro Rios, taking advantage of their first real foray into the opposition half.
However, Madrid struck back within five minutes when Alvaro Arbeloa’s cross into the box was met acrobatically by Higuain, who smashed a sensational volley past Munua in the Levante goal.
And Mourinho’s men took the lead just minutes later when Kaka calmly converted a spot kick after Christian Lell was adjudged to have handled in the box.
Despite their lead Mourinho introduced Ronaldo at half-time in an attempt to inject some cutting edge to his side’s play, although it took the Real number seven until the 84th minute to do so.
Good work from Higuain on the left presented Ronaldo with a glorious opportunity just ten yards out and the Portuguese star showed no hesitation in lashing home a half-volley to make it 3-1.
Madrid made it 4-1 with just four minutes to go through another substitute, this time Ozil, who had the simple task of slotting into an empty net after Ronaldo’s cut back had brought Munua out of his goal.
Ozil added some more gloss to the scoreline in the first minute of stoppage time, putting the finishing touches on a beautifully-worked goal to put Real Madrid four points clear of city rivals Atletico Madrid in the race for second place.
- Sports & Recreation
- Real Madrid
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Atletico Madrid
- Gonzalo Higuain
- Mesut Ozil