19.02.2011 » Real Madrid 2-0 Levante. Cristiano Ronaldo assists Carvalho for goal.
Real Madrid won easily against a Levante side at the Santiago Bernabeu tonight, to keep up the pressure on the leaders Barcelona, before their match with Athletic Bilbao tomorrow night. Karim Benzema opened the hostilities early in the game, after a marvellous play by Angel Di Maria, where he dribbled 3 opponents before assisting the french. Ricardo Carvalho added the second goal, assisted by Cristiano Ronaldo through a free-kick, to give José Mourinho's men a two-goal lead before half-time. There were no more changes to the scoreboard in the second half, and Real Madrid cruised to a comfortable victory already thinking in Tuesday's match against Olympique Lyon.With this win, José Mourinho completes a remarkable achievement, by being unbeaten at home, in (domestic) league games for 9 years in a row! This unbeaten streak record started back in 2002 when José Mourinho was still coaching F.C. Porto in Portugal. It then extended through Chelsea, Inter Milan and now Real Madrid. Impressive!
Real Madrid took the game by storm and opened the scoring as early as the seventh minute was being played. Angel Di Maria went on a blistering run on the right wing, leaving three defenders behind, before crossing for Karim Benzema, who was left alone and finished it easily, just outside the six-yard box.
Levante players were struggling to get into the game as they looked clearly intimidated by the growing confidence in Real Madrid plays. Cristiano Ronaldo nearly lobbed Gustavo Munua in the 20th minute and moments later, it was time for Angel Di Maria stung the goalkeeper's palms with a powerfull curled shot from distance.
Real Madrid continued to dominate the game and were looking to exploit all the space given to their players by Levante's somewhat uncoordinated defence. A second goal was on the way and it came from an unlikely source in the face of Ricardo Carvalho. The portuguese defender pounced on a terrible mistake by the Levante's centre-backs and tapped in a free-kick by Cristiano Ronaldo on the left.
The second half continued in the same pattern in which the first one was played as Real Madrid were going for a goal. Gustavo Munua nearly made a big mistake in the 48th minute when he allowed a backpass to slip through his legs, but he managed to clear the ball away, just before Cristiano Ronaldo could take advantage and score his desired goal.
In the 53rd minute, Sami Khedira put the finishing touch to an attacking move involving Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria, but his finish from just inside the box lacked strenght and was easily claimed by Levante's goalkeeper, Gustavo. The tempo slowly began to drop througout the 2nd half and soon the game was being played at a snail pace as the hosts were clearly looking to see out the match, having in mind the match against Olympique Lyon just around the corner. Levante got their best chance in the game in the 68th minute, but Felipe Caicedo beat Antonio Adan, who replaced Iker Casillas, after the captain got suspended for being shown the red card in the last match against Espanyol.
Real Madrid were totally in control of the game as Levante were struggling to create anything of note. Emmanuel Adebayor came in later on and had the ball in the net in the 92nd minute, after a stunning run by Mesut Oezil, but it was ruled out correctly for offside, as Cristiano Ronaldo was slightly out of position and this proved to be the last action of this match.
Following this win over Levante, Real Madrid are now second in the Spanish League standings, with 60 points and still pursuing the leaders Barcelona, who are now just 2 points ahead. Barcelona will play tomorrow against Athletic Bilbau in what could be a very important match for the outcome of this league. Real Madrid next league game is a visit to the "El Riazor", to play against Deportivo de la Coruna in about a week, while Levante will host Osasuna a day later.