Apr 6, 2013 at 5pm UK at ​Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid
5-1
Levante
Kaká (39' pen.), Higuaín (36'), Özil (87', 90'), Ronaldo (84')
Ramos (60')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Michel (31')

Live Commentary: Real Madrid 5-1 Levante - as it happened

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring against Galatasaray on April 3, 2013
© AP Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the La Liga clash at the Bernabeu as Real Madrid record a 5-1 win over Levante.

Real Madrid welcomed Levante to the Bernabeu on Saturday looking to consolidate second position in the La Liga table.

It was Levante who took the lead after 31 minutes when Michel found the back of the net following a sweeping move.

Madrid turned it around in the latter stages of the first period, however, with Gonzalo Higuain and a Kaka penalty moving them into a 2-1 lead at the interval.

The home side continued to dominate in the second half, but they had to wait until the latter stages for Cristiano Ronaldo and a Mesut Ozil double to add gloss to the scoring.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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4.31pmAfternoon all! The first of our three back-to-back live commentaries in La Liga comes from the Spanish capital as Real Madrid welcome Levante. The home side have second position on their minds in the final stages of the season, but Levante’s chances of Europe have just faded following a period of poor results.

4.34pmIn terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, Madrid have just shaded the last five matches with three wins to Levante’s two. As mentioned, the capital outfit were 2-1 winners in the reverse match at the beginning of the season, but Levante have won two of their last three home matches against the Spanish champions.

4.37pmTEAMS:

MADRID: Lopez; Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Alonso, Kaka, Modric; Callejon, Benzema, Higuain

LEVANTE: Munua; Lell, Juanfran, Vyntra, Ballesteros; Diop, Iborra, Rios, Michel; Garcia, Acquafresca


4.40pmSo there we have it. No Cristiano Ronaldo for the home side this afternoon as the Portuguese drops to the bench alongside Mesut Ozil and Michael Essien. Pepe does come back into the team, however, while Iker Casillas is named on the bench. Levante boss Juan Ignacio once more pairs Ruben Garcia and Robert Acquafresca in attack, but Nabil El Zhar is on the bench.

4.43pmMadrid enjoyed Champions League success in midweek when they recorded a 3-0 win over Galatasaray in the first leg of their quarter-final clash. The league title may be gone, but I am certain the supporters would be content with a European Cup and Copa del Rey double. However, they simply must finish in second position in the table.

4.46pmJose Mourinho’s side have won five of their last six matches in the league, a run of form that has moved them into second position in the table, one point ahead of Atletico Madrid with nine matches remaining. Three points this afternoon would place more pressure on their capital rivals, who they face in the final of the Copa del Rey.

4.49pmMadrid also boast a stunning home record in the league this season with 12 wins from their 14 matches at the Bernabeu, remaining unbeaten in the process. They have struggled on their travels, however, with all five of their league defeats coming away from the Spanish capital. That said, Levante have largely struggled on their travels this season.

4.52pmThey have won just three of their 15 matches on the road this season, losing seven times in the process. As it stands, they sit in 10th position in the table, seven points off the top six. A late European push does seem unlikely, but they will be pleased with a top-half finish. In truth, they will not be expecting too much from this match.

4.55pmTaking a look at the statistics, Madrid currently have the second-best defensive record in the league having conceded just 28 goals in their 29 matches, the same number as Malaga. Meanwhile, Levante have conceded 41 times. Down the other end, Madrid are the second-highest scorers with 72, but Levante have found the back of the net just 34 times.


4.58pmHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of kickoff. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Just about time for my prediction. I just cannot see any possible way how Madrid do not win this football match. Comfortable home win for me.

0 minJust a reminder of the main team news this afternoon. No Ronaldo or Ozil for the home side, with Jose Callejon and Kaka both coming into the team. Levante, meanwhile, have Ruben Garcia and Acquafresca in attack, while Pedro Rios also comes into the side. Right, the home side get the action underway on this mild early evening in the Spanish capital.

2 minNot a sell-out at the Bernabeu for this match, but there is a strong atmosphere as the sun shines in the Spanish capital. Just a reminder that Iker Casillas returns to the bench this afternoon. Will he be restored in the latter part of the season? As expected, Madrid have taken control of the possession in the early stages.

4 minHalf-chance for Marcelo to open the scoring as the left-back drives into the Levante half before striking an effort on goal, but it was always rising high and wide of the post. Kaka is involved moments later as he attempts to slide a pass towards Higuain, but Juanfran is across to quell the danger. Good tempo in the early stages of this one.

6 minCallejon is involved down the left moments later as he dances past two players before delivering a cross, but Lell is on hand to clear the danger. Levante's first effort on goal follows down the other end as Acquafresca strikes from close range, but Diego Lopez gets down well to quell the danger.

8 minKaka continues his strong start to the match as the Brazilian collects possession in his own half before driving into the Levante box, but Diop is across to quell the danger at the final moment. Plenty of suggestions that we will have goals in this match as both sides continue to commit numbers to each attack.

10 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Higuain collects possession on the left before driving a low cross into the box, but Iborra is on hand to make the clearance. It falls nicely for Modric on the edge of the area, but the Croatian decides to keep the ball rather than strike an effort on goal. No real chances for either team in the opening 10 minutes of football.

12 minNot too much to report in terms of attacking intent in the last few minutes with Madrid comfortable in possession of the ball. There is no question that the loss of Obafemi Martins has harmed Levante's ability to play away from home. Callejon does get in down the left following good work from Arbeloa, but the offside flag is raised.

14 minIt is the Levante supporters that are making most of the noise with 14 minutes on the clock, but their side has been unable to get any sort of grip on the possession. A late challenge from Pedro Rios on Marcelo allows Alonso to whip a free kick into the box, but Munua comes through traffic to clear the danger.

16 minKaka continues to impress for Madrid as he collects possession down the left before feeding a low cross into the box, but it just would not fall for Benzema. Alonso attempts to find Callejon with a searching pass moments later, but it just moves out of play. No real clear opportunities for either side with 16 minutes on the clock.


18 minHiguain does have a half-chance to open the scoring as he collects possession outside the box before releasing an effort on goal, but it was always moving high and wide of the crossbar. Benzema has a similar opportunity moments later, but once more the Frenchman could not find the target.

20 minBetter from Levante in the last couple of moments as they force two corners in quick succession, but the first is palmed over by Lopez before the Spanish goalkeeper comes to claim the second. Marcelo is involved down the other end moments later, but once more his cross is short of the required quality. Still goalless with 20 minutes of football played in Madrid.

22 minKaka is involved once more as the Brazilian ghosts into the box before striking an effort on goal, but it was always rising over the crossbar. The experienced midfielder has been Madrid's brightest player thus far. Levante force another corner following good work from Lell moments later, but once more it comes to nothing.

24 minCallejon is next to try his luck from distance as he strikes an effort from outside the box, but it was always rising over the crossbar. Levante attempt to break once more with Garcia, but his pass for Acquafresca left the Italian with a lot to do. It is almost as if Madrid are going through the motions at the moment as they dominate the possession.

26 minCHANCE! Just about Madrid's clearest chance of the match as Ramos meets a corner from Modric, but he could only find Higuain, who was in an offside position. The atmosphere has just dropped inside the stadium, with the home supporters almost waiting to be entertained. Little under 20 minutes of the first period remaining.

29 minLevante just cannot get out of their own half at the moment as they continue to park the bus in front of their goal. It is all very well, but you would fancy Madrid to break them down at some point. That almost happens as Benzema slides a low pass towards Higuain, but Munua is out to quell the danger. Garcia attempts to create an opening down the other end, but his pass is intercepted by Pepe.

31 minFirst sighter for the away side as Iborra floats a cross into the box, it falls for Diop, but the offside flag was raised at the final moment. Madrid immediately break down the other end with Alonso, who finds Benzema on the edge of the box, but his effort is blocked by Lell. Still the score remains goalless with 31 minutes on the clock.

31 minGOAL! Real Madrid 0-1 Levante (Michel)

32 minLevante take the lead! Isn't that just football? Levante have hardly had a kick in this match but they open the scoring as Michel drives into the Madrid box before thumping an effort into the bottom corner. That is his seventh goal of the season. The stadium is stunned into silence.

34 minMadrid attempt to level almost immediately as Alonso whips a dangerous free kick into the box, but once more Munua comes through a crowd of players to clear the danger. Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho has just sent Cristiano Ronaldo out to warm up. If any of the players needed some motivation then there it is.


36 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Benzema meets a pass from Kaka before rounding the goalkeeper, but the Frenchman just took it too wide at the final moment. However, the linesman had indeed raised his offside flag, much to the relief of the striker. Little under 10 minutes of the half remaining.

36 minGOAL! Real Madrid 1-1 Levante (Higuain)

37 minStunning equaliser for the home side as Higuain meets a cross from Alonso before volleying a wonderful effort into the back of the net. That is technique of the very highest order. You just get the feeling that Levante needed to hold onto the lead until the interval.

38 minCallejon is once more involved for the home side as he collects a pass from Kaka before striking an effort on goal, but it thumps into the side netting, much to the frustration of his teammates. Suddenly the home supporters have found their voices in the latter stages of the first period. End-to-end football with 38 minutes on the clock.

38 minPENALTY TO MADRID!

39 minGOAL! Real Madrid 2-1 Levante (Kaka)

40 minMadrid turn this match around as Kaka coolly slots his effort into the bottom corner. It was sloppy play from Lell, who handled the ball in the penalty area. Juan Ignacio is absolutely livid on the touchline as he barks out his orders.

42 minHalf-chance for the away side to level once more as Iborra collects possession outside the box before driving towards goal, but Pepe is across to quell the danger at the vital moment. Kaka is involved down the other end moments later, but Diop is across to clear. One-way traffic in the latter stages of the half.

45 minHalf-chance for Levante to put a dangerous free kick into the Madrid box as Pepe fells Ruben Garcia, the Spaniard floats a cross into the box, but Ramos rises to clear. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute at the end of the first period.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Real Madrid 2-1 Levante


5.48pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with Real Madrid leading 2-1. Levante had the lead after 31 minutes, but two goals in three minutes ensured that Madrid moved 2-1 ahead. However, it has not been vintage from the Spanish champions.

5.52pmSTATISTICS: The home side have utterly dominated the possession with 80%, while they have had 11 attempts to Levante's four. The away side took the lead entirely against the run of play, but you worry whether they will be able to quell such pressure in the second period. We could have a thumping on our hands if Madrid really turn it on.

5.56pmBENCH WATCH: Madrid have the small matter of Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench this afternoon, while Mesut Ozil and Angel di Maria are also in reserve. Levante also have options, however, in the shape of El Zhar, Valdo and Juanlu. There are certainly goals in that list of players.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of the second period. One change for the home side at the interval as a certain Ronaldo enters in place of Callejon, who has struggled thus far. As it stands, Madrid would move four points clear of Atletico Madrid. The away side get the half underway.

48 minYou just get the feeling that the next goal in this match would have a decisive effect on the final result. If Madrid score, then it should be curtains, but a goal for Levante would put them right back in the match. Early half-chance for Ronaldo as Modric feeds a cross into the box, but the Portuguese just cannot make proper contact at the far post.

50 minCHANCE! It's wonderful work from Arbeloa as the full-back drives into the box before cutting it back towards Modric, the Croatian's effort appears to be moving wide of the goal, but Higuain makes contact, although the Argentine can only find the side netting. Wonderful move from the Spanish champions.

52 minHalf-chance for Modric this time as the Croatian collects possession outside the box before striking an effort on goal, but it was always rising high and wide of the crossbar. Levante attempt to break down the other end with Ruben Garcia, but the Spaniard is immediately surrounded by three players. Madrid are really enjoying themselves at the moment.

54 minIt is Benzema that next comes close to adding Madrid's third as he meets a cross from Modric, but his header was straight at the goalkeeper. Wonderful build-up with the likes of Kaka and Ronaldo involved with quick, snappy passing. Iborra has a long-range strike down the other end, but it flashes wide of the post.

56 minRonaldo's first real effort on goal arrives after 56 minutes as the Portuguese gains a yard of room in the box before thumping a powerful effort on goal, but Munua does manage to palm clear of the danger zone. Levante simply cannot get out of their own half at the moment as Madrid continue to utterly dominate this football match.

59 minNo shortage of attempts from the home side as their forward players continue to pepper the Levante goal, but Munua has been able to keep the score to 2-1 as we approach the hour mark. Do not count Levante out, however, they were battered in the first period but did manage to score. They need one of their main players to step forward with just over 30 minutes of football remaining in the Spanish capital.


61 minMadrid make their second change of the match as Angel di Maria replaces Kaka. That is the difference between teams such as Levante and the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona, when they make a change, it doesn't weaken their side. That said, Levante have enjoyed a good period of possession in the last few minutes, while Acquafresca just flashed an effort wide of the post.

63 minMadrid continue to dominate the possession with quick passing outside the box, but their attempts on goal have just died down in the last couple of minutes. Ronaldo is involved once more as he combines with Benzema on the edge of the box, but Lell is across to make the challenge at the vital moment. Ruben Garcia breaks down the other end, but Ramos is across to make the challenge.

65 minHalf-chance for the away side as Vyntra meets a cross from Garcia, but the Greek defender can only flash his header wide of the post. No real atmosphere inside the stadium at the moment with the home supporters expecting their side to go on and win comfortably. Little over 25 minutes of football remaining in the Bernabeu.

68 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Higuain collects possession outside the box, but he can only thump his effort over the crossbar. Juanfran attempts to force the issue down the other end moments later, but he is quelled by Ramos, before Benzema flicks a Ronaldo cross just wide down the other end.

70 minNot too much to report in the last few moments with Madrid comfortable in possession of the ball. However, at 2-1, there is always a chance that Levante can take something from the match. Couple of changes for the away side with 20 minutes remaining as El Zhar and Valdo replace Rios and Acquafresca.

72 minHalf-chance for Madrid to add their third as Pepe meets a corner from Modric, but Munua gets down well to make the save. No recognised striker on the pitch for Levante at the moment, with Juan Ignacio seemingly going for pace with his two changes. Still plenty of time for goals in the first of our three La Liga live commentaries this evening.

74 minBenzema is again involved as he collects possession on the edge of the box before striking an effort on goal, but it was always rising high and wide. Ronaldo forces the issue moments later down the left, but Di Maria can only volley over the crossbar. Little over 15 minutes of football remaining in the Bernabeu.

76 minMadrid want a penalty as Ronaldo is bundled over in the penalty area, but the referee is simply not interested, with replays showing that was indeed the correct decision. Not too much for the away supporters to get excited about, meanwhile, with Pepe and Ramos completely dominating the possession. It appears that Ozil will soon join the action for Madrid.

78 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Arbeloa to add Madrid's third as he meets a cross from Ronaldo in the box, but somehow Lell is across to make the block. Meanwhile, both sides make their final changes as Ozil replaces Benzema and Michel is replaced by Jose Barkero for Levante.

81 minNot too much to report in the last couple of moments with neither side taking too much care in possession of the ball. It is the type of match that Jose Mourinho will want to get through as quickly as possible, with the three points in tact. Again Arbeloa breaks forward before Ronaldo strikes an effort from outside the box, but Munua makes a fine save.


83 minCHANCE! Rare opportunity for the away side as Valdo rounds Lopez before squaring to Barkero, but the midfielder can only thump his effort high and wide of the crossbar. That is really poor from the Spaniard. That is always the danger with Madrid leading by just the single goal. Will we have late drama here?

84 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Ozil combines with Marcelo before striking an effort on goal, but once more Munua is down to make a fine challenge. The resulting corner causes problems in the box, but Munua manages to punch clear. Little over five minutes of football remaining in the Spanish capital.

84 minGOAL! Real Madrid 3-1 Levante (Ronaldo)

85 minRonaldo of course gets on the scoresheet in the latter stages as he steadies himself in the box before placing a half-volley into the top corner. Stunning finish from the Portuguese, who keeps up his goal-a-game record. That is now game over.

87 minGOAL! Real Madrid 4-1 Levante (Ozil)

88 minMadrid add their fourth in the latter stages as Ronaldo squares to Ozil, who simply turns into the empty net. Levante have just fallen asleep in the latter stages of this match. Another impressive finish from the La Liga champions.

90 min+1Not too much to report in the last minute or so with Madrid completely dominating the football. Levante have been really poor this evening there is no question about that. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional two minutes of added time and we are indeed into the first of those.

90 min+1GOAL! Real Madrid 5-1 Levante (Ozil)

90 min+2Wonderful play from the home side as Di Maria breaks with pace before squaring to Ozil, who simply slots into the back of the net from close range.

90 min+2FULL-TIME: Real Madrid 5-1 Levante


6.50pmSo there we have it. Madrid hit Levante for five to move four points clear of Atletico Madrid. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to remain us for action from Deportivo. Until then!

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring against Sevilla on February 9, 2013
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5Celta Vigo00000000
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