was a really tough one to pull out. Levante is a very good defensive team, and whenever their pitch is as bad as it was yesterday due to the rain, they are a very tough side to beat. It didn't rain that much in Valencia, but it was impossible for Real Madrid's playmakers to create chances in that pitch. The referees could've postponed the game, but they decided to kick it off.
Jose Mourinho placed Essien alongside Xabi Alonso. This wasn't a game for Luka Modric. Essien's physical presence in the midfield allowed Real Madrid to steal some important balls and also defend well Levante's chances off corner-kicks and fouls.
The best aerial team was going to win the game, and that's what happened. Both of Real Madrid's goals came off set pieces. Cristiano Ronaldo got the first one and then left the game injured on his eye after David Navarro's elbow. The Spanish defender should've been sent off, but the referee didn't see the violent hit nor the blood on Cristiano's face.
After that, Raúl Albiol entered the game, and he helped Alonso and Essien on the midfield. The game was on Real Madrid's hands, but Levante's Ángel received the ball after a good first-touch by Martins and scored the goal that tied the game up. The referees should've disallowed the goal, as Levante's striker was offsides, but Mourinho's players didn't complain to the referee.
Shortly after, Kaká joined the game for Özil and placed a good pass to Callejón. The Spanish defender, who worked really hard all game long, was fouled shortly outside the box, but the referee thought it was a penalty. One way or another, Xabi Alonso missed the shot from the spot and it all seemed like Real Madrid wasn't going to keep up with Barcelona's win against Mallorca. Luckily enough for the players, Morata, who joined the game for Arbeloa, scored a crucial goal for his team.
Morata celebrated the goal frantically, and then Real Madrid managed to protect the lead. Alongside Di María, Callejón and Coentrao, Casillas saved two really well placed long shots by Levante shortly after the second half kicked off.