Real Madrid Vs Levante, Liga BBVA 2013-2014: Real Stay on Top [3-0]

Denis Doyle

Quiet and easy win for Real Madrid. Top of the league once again.

Carlo Ancelotti made no rotations in order to get the best out of Barcelona's 1-0 loss against Valladolid, and the team started the match really well. Keylor Navas showed how good of a goalkeeper he is in the 6th minute by saving a great shot by Cristiano Ronaldo. Five minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo scored off a corner-kick taken by Di María. It was good to break Levante's wall that early, because Caparrós's team gains a lot of momentum when the opposition is struggling offensively.

Cristiano's goal completely dismantled Levante's gameplan, because Real Madrid did not need to risk a lot anymore. Di María had another good chance in the 17th minute after an individual play by Karim Benzema, who left the Argentinian face to face with Keylor Navas. El Fideo's first touch was a bit too strong and that gave advantage to the goalkeeper.

Real Madrid were much more comfortable after that early goal. Benzema was playing great but his very first big chance was denied by Navas. Bale's pass on that play was brilliant but the French striker couldn't convert the chance and increase Real Madrid's lead.

Levante's Sergio should've been sent off after he clearly tried to injure Raphäel Varane's knee. Luckily enough for los blancos and the French defender, he kept playing.

Again, not much was going on when the game reached the 30-minute mark. Real Madrid should've tried to score the second goal a bit harder, because Levante were still one goal away from the equalizer. The team was playing well enough but the players were a bit too confident about their chances with that 1-0 lead. Real Madrid put the game to sleep and the first half ended calmly after Cristiano Ron aldo hit the post off a brilliant cross by Marcelo.

As soon as the second half started, Cristiano Ronaldo got the attention of three Levante defender on the left wing. That left Marcelo wide open on the box, and the Brazilian all-around defender scored Real's second goal with his right foot. That's what Marcelo is capable of, and that's what the fans should want to get from him.

That second goal finished the game. Levante needed two goals to get one point from their visit to the Bernabéu and their style and gameplan are simply too defensive-minded to accomplish that.

Sergio Ramos got booked in the 55th minute, and that yellow card will keep him out of Real's visit to Málaga next weekend. But that yellow card will allow him to play against Barcelona on March 23rd, so that's obviously a good thing for Real Madrid.

The referee finally got something right when he sent David Navarro off after a nasty tackle on Cristiano Ronaldo. Navarro has something personal going on against Ronaldo -he was the one who threw an elbow to the Portuguese star last season- and the crowd decided to whistle him as he was leaving the pitch. Ronaldo didn't need the doctors this time. Remember that Dasvid Navarro wasn't called for a foul a year ago. Justice.

Nacho joined the game on the 67th minute and replaced Raphäel Varane. The French center back had played last Wednesday with France and it was a good decision by Ancelotti to take him out of the game in order to give his knee some rest. Isco was Real Madrid's second substitution. He came in on the 72nd minute and one would've wanted to see more minutes from him, especially after his good performance against Atlético de Madrid. Luka Modric was the man who received an standing ovation. The Croatian player has definitely found his place in this club and those 35M€ seem cheap now.

Benzema could've scored his goal but Keylor Navas still put on a show and prevented that from happening. It was Levante's left back the one who managed to beat Keylor for Real's third goal. An ugly own-goal from Nikos, since nobody was challenging the play.

Ancelotti gave Jesé 10 minutes and decided to take Benzema off the pitch. The game ended with a couple of good chances, but Daniel Carvajal had to leave the game just before adding time with a potential right-knee injury that eclipsed them all. If this injury is serious, the team will not have a pure right-back for El Clásico.

Real Madrid made the best of Vallaolid's win and lead the table three points ahead of Atlético Madrid and four clear of FC Barcelona.

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