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Primera División

  • 12 February 2012
  • • 20:30
  • • Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
  • Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
  • • Attendance: 71000
4
FT
2

Live Commentary

  • FULL-TIME!! And it's finished 4-2 to Madrid here. A Ronaldo hat-trick steered Madrid to a comfortable victory after the away side had shocked their opponents by taking an early lead through Gustavo Cabral. This result takes Madrid ten points clear at the top of La Liga, while Levante will have an eye over their shoulder in fourth place, having failed to win in La Liga since December 10. Thanks for joining me for Goal.com's coverage of this match. Good night!
  • 89'
    Javi Venta does well at right-back for Levante by dispossessing Fabio Coentrao as the Madrid player looked to cross the ball into the box.
  • 87'
    Ronaldo sends the resulting free-kick harmlessly over the bar.
  • 86'
    Yellow CardGustavo Daniel Cabral
  • 84'
    Yellow CardArbeloa
  • 84'
    Alvaro Arbeloa is booked for time-wasting as Levante try and get back into this game. That yellow card means he will miss Madrid's next game.
  • 83'
    Madrid are pushing for a fifth goal here with under ten minutes remaining.
  • 81'
    SubstitutionMesut Özil Kaká
  • 81'
    Ozil receives applause from the fans as he is replaced by Kaka. The German has been superb tonight, and was desperately unlucky not to score in the second half when he hit the post.
  • 79'
    Levante appear to have run out of ideas going forward now, playing a half with only ten men is bound to have taken its toll both physically and mentally.
  • 77'
    Kone with a fabulous piece of skill to draw a foul from Sergio Ramos right in front of the benches. Ramos is fortunate to still be on the pitch tonight, that could easily have been a second yellow card for the defender.
  • 76'
    SubstitutionValdo Pedro Botelho
  • 76'
    SubstitutionEsteban Granero Sami Khedira
  • 75'
    Ronaldo is brimming with confidence now. He nearly adds a fifth with a nonchalant flick on the turn that goes a couple of yards wide of Munua's goal.
  • 73'
    I've just seen a replay of the Ozil chance that came back off the post. What a player he is!! The nutmeg on Ballesteros was worth a goal alone.
  • 71'
    The home side are stroking the ball around nicely now. That fourth goal from Benzema has given them a bit of breathing space after Kone's effort had them momentarily stunned.
  • 69'
    OZIL HITS THE POST!!! The German magician races into the Levante area after nutmegging Ballesteros brilliantly before rolling an effort past Munua that cannons back off the post. Inches in that one!
  • 68'
    AND RONALDO SHOULD SCORE ANOTHER!!!! A rare miscue from the attacker after the substitute Jose Callejon had lifted a superb ball over the Levante backline.
  • 67'
    SubstitutionGonzalo Higuaín José Callejón
  • 66'
    AssistCristiano Ronaldo
  • 66'
    GoalKarim Benzema
    GOOOOALLLLL!!! BENZEMA!!! You cannot take your eyes off this game for a second. Ronaldo has possession on the edge of the Levante area, he rolls the ball left to Benzema, who shifts his body from left to right before wrapping his right foot round the ball and sending a fine effort into the far corner of the net. That may well be the best of the night!
  • 64'
    Madrid were not expecting that, and to be honest, neither was I. The home side looked in full control before that counter attack and goal from Kone. This match is not over yet.
  • 63'
    AssistÓscar Serrano
  • 63'
    GoalArouna Kone
    GOOOOAALLLL FOR LEVANTE!!!!!!!!! Kone with an impressive header after Levante broke with a swift counter attack. Fabulous play from the away side.
  • 60'
    Madrid have torn into their opponents in this second half. With half an hour to go you begin to feel sorry for this Levante side. This scoreline could double.
  • 58'
    SubstitutionAsier Del Horno Pedro López
  • 58'
    It is worth mentioning that that goal is Madrid's 4000th league goal at the Bernabeu. A remarkable achievement.
  • 57'
    AssistFabio Coentrao
  • 57'
    GoalCristiano Ronaldo
    MADRID HAVE A THIRD GOAL!!!! And that's Ronaldo's hat-trick. What a strike from the Portuguese star. He picks the ball up 35 yards from goal, carries it ten yards, before unleashing an unstoppable dipping effort with his right foot that finds the top right hand corner of Munua's net.
  • 56'
    And that is a waste from Del Horno!! His effort from the set piece flies harmlessly over the bar.
  • 55'
    Levante have a free-kick in a decent position 30 yards out. Del Horno and Farinos stand over it...
  • 54'
    Esteban Granero does well to win two corners for Madrid as Levante looked to have gained possession in their own half. The home side are not sitting back here.
  • 52'
    Madrid are threatening to run riot now. Levante just look unable to cope against the extra man of Madrid at the moment. Only some last ditch defending from Del Horno stops HIguain from racing through against Munua.
  • 50'
    AssistGonzalo Higuaín
  • 50'
    GoalCristiano Ronaldo
    GOAALLLLL!!!! ROOOONNAAAALLLDDDOOO!! Higuain does superbly down the right to beat his marker and lift a fantastic cross into the penalty area, and Ronaldo is there to head firmly past Munua and give his side the lead. That's two for Ronaldo now. I wouldn't bet against him scoring more tonight.
  • 50'
    That amounts to nothing, and Madrid immediately counter...
  • 50'
    Levante do still look dangerous on the counter attack though. What a half that would set up if they were to take the lead again here. They have a free-kick 40 yards out on the right.
  • 49'
    Yellow CardPepe
  • 48'
    The second half has started in a similar vein to how the first ended, with Madrid throwing men forward and Levante camped deep in their own half.
  • 47'
    Karim Benzema had that goal controversially ruled out for offside in the first half. It will be interesting to see whether that decision will come back to haunt the home side. Having said that, they were fortunate to win the penalty at the end of the first half, while Sergio Ramos could easily have seen red for his deliberate kick on Asier Del Horno midway through the first half.
  • 46'
    SubstitutionNabil El Zhar Pallardó
  • 46'
    The teams are back out at the Bernabeu. I worry for Levante in this second half. Let me know on twitter @charliefscott what you think the outcome of this game will be. Can Levante hold on for a point??
  • And the referee has blown the whistle for half-time. It is 1-1 here, Madrid equalising late in the first half via a Ronaldo penalty after Levante had taken a shock lead through Cabral early on. Levante's Iborra saw red in the incident that resulted in the penalty for Madrid, and the away side now have a huge task to salvage something from this tie with Madrid looking rampant at the end of the first half. Join me shortly here on Goal.com for the remaining 45 minutes.
  • 45' + 2'
    Madrid nearly add a second from a corner at the end of the first half, from an acrobatic overhead kick from.... who else but Cristiano Ronaldo. A fabulous effort from the Portuguese star.
  • 45' + 1'
    You cannot say that the goal wasn't coming for Madrid here, although the circumstances were slightly unfortunate for Levante. Iborra, who had looked impressive in this first half, will be upset to receive a second yellow card for what looked like an accidental handball. Madrid, however, are not complaining!
  • 45'
    Penalty GoalCristiano Ronaldo
    AND HE SCORES!!!!!! MADRID HAVE THE EQUALISER!!! It is 1-1 here, seconds before half-time.
  • 44'
    Ronaldo steps up to take it...
  • 43'
    Yellow/RedIborra
  • 43'
    RED CARD!!!!! Iborra is sent off for Levante, after a second yellow card for handball inside his own penalty area. Levante down to 10 men and Madrid have a penalty!
  • 43'
    Ronaldo chooses to backheel the ball with his back to goal when he really should just choose the easy option and play a straightforward pass to Benzema. His side lose the ball, but then win it back within seconds. A frantic end to this half here!!!
  • 41'
    That corner is cleared by Levante, but Madrid are on the attack again. They are pitched on the edge of the Levante penalty area as this game approaches half-time .
  • 39'
    A crucial headed clearance from Del Horno averts the danger for Levante, but Madrid have yet another corner. It's one way traffic at the Bernabeu at the moment.
  • 37'
    Yellow CardIborra
  • 37'
    A flowing Madrid attack ends with Higuain poking the ball just wide of Munua's left hand post. They are coming close to an equaliser.
  • 36'
    Yellow CardSergio Ramos
  • 35'
    Asier Del Horno and Sergio Ramos were having some kind of disagreement as that set piece was taken. The Madrid centre-back looking far from pleased with his former Spanish international team-mate. At the next set piece Sergio Ramos makes his feelings known with a deliberate kick on Del Horno, and despite the referee seeing it, he is only shown a yellow card. That should have been red.
  • 35'
    It is in fact Ozil that takes the kick, his effort is disappointing though, clipping the wall and being cleared to safety by Levante.
  • 34'
    Yellow CardÓscar Serrano
  • 34'
    Oscar Serrano makes his way into the referee's book after refusing to return the ball to Madrid after they win a free kick 25 yards out. Alonso shapes up to take it.
  • 33'
    Benzema breaks down the left hand side, beating Javi Venta for pace before hooking a cross towards Ronaldo at the near post. Danger is averted momentarily though by a defender's interception that nicks the ball out for a Madrid corner, that then amounts to nothing.
  • 31'
    Surprise surprise Jose Mourinho is complaining about something on the sidelines. If his furious gesticulating is anything to go by, it appears his side are too slow in getting the ball back in play at set-pieces.
  • 28'
    There are wave after wave of Madrid attacks at the moment, yet still Levante lead!! it looks like it is going to be a long old night for Ballesteros and his fellow defenders at the back for the visitors.
  • 26'
    Casillas is forced into a save by the advancing Iborra from a tight angle. Madrid will need to be wary of Levante's potential to cause damage on the counter attack, with the away side looking dangerous on more than one occasion already this evening.
  • 26'
    Alot of you on Twitter are predicting a Madrid win here, despite them being 1-0 down at present. They are certainly creating chances and it only seems a matter of time before they are back on level terms in this match.
  • 24'
    Ozil has been at the heart of Madrid's best moves in the past ten minutes, and after dancing past a couple of challenges he shifts the ball off to Benzema, whose eventual shot is comfortably gathered by Munua.
  • 22'
    Levante win another corner after Kone drove down the left past Pepe. Madrid quickly counter from the set piece however, and Benzema's whipped cross should really have been converted by any one of the three Madrid attackers queuing up in the box. Los Merengues are starting to dominate proceedings at the Bernabeu.
  • 22'
    Levante win another corner after Kone drove down the left past Pepe. Madrid quickly counter from the set piece however, and Benzema's whipped cross should really have been converted by any one of the three Madrid attackers queuing up in the box. Los Merengues are starting to dominate proceedings at the Bernabeu.
  • 20'
    Mesut Ozil nearly sets up a goal with an exquisite pass with the outside of his left boot from the right hand side of the Levante penalty area. Fabio Coentrao cannot sort his body out though, and his effort is easily dealt with by the Levante defence. Ozil was not happy with his team-mate's finish there.
  • 19'
    Farinos tries to direct a quick free-kick towards Valdo in the Madrid area, but his team-mate is sloppily caught offside, and so Madrid have the ball back once more.
  • 18'
    And he does strike an effort goalwards that the Levante goalkeeper Gustavo Munua does well to parry to safety. The ball was swerving in the air from that set-piece. A decent effort from Ronaldo.
  • 16'
    Francisco Farinos comes in late on Estaben Granero thirty yards out from goal and concedes a free-kick. Cristiano Ronaldo may well fancy a shot at goal from here.
  • 14'
    Higuain comes close for Madrid!!! The Argentine turns Ballesteros brilliantly before curling a tantalising effort just wide of the left hand post. Madrid are knocking vehemently on the door.
  • 13'
    Disappointing touch from Cristiano Ronaldo with his back to the goal on the edge of the box, his team-mate Benzema was screaming for a return pass but Ronaldo's touch was heavy and Levante regained possession.
  • 12'
    An equaliser looks on the horizon for Madrid here! They are full of direct running and attacking purpose.
  • 11'
    Madrid win a corner after moving the ball nicely around the edge of the Levante penalty area. Higuain very nearly scores from the set piece, his effort at the back post coming back off the woodwork.
  • 10'
    Xabi Alonso with a crucial interception on the halfway line as Levante threatened to counter attack!
  • 8'
    OFFSIDE AGAINST BENZEMA!!! The French striker appears to have scored the equaliser for Madrid but his effort is ruled out for offside by the linesman, in what is an incorrect decision, having just seen a replay. Madrid will have every right to feel aggrieved there!
  • 7'
    And Levante appear to be pushing for a second goal! Madrid are yet to settle in this game. A nightmare start for the home side.
  • 5'
    AssistFarinós
  • 5'
    GoalGustavo Daniel Cabral
    AND LEVANTE HAVE SCORED!!!!!! Not the start Mourinho will have wanted! Gustavo Cabral has got the goal for the visitors, after Sergio Ramos had inadvertently flicked the free-kick into the path of the Levante defender.
  • 5'
    Levante get a free-kick in a dangerous position 25 yards out.
  • 4'
    Sami Khedira is named as a substitute tonight, which may well be a tactical decision from Mourinho, following Kedira's dismissal in this game's corresponding fixture last year for pushing Seve Ballesteros.
  • 2'
    Madrid quickly get a hold of the ball and threaten to take an early lead but Karim Benzema's fierce left foot shot flies over the bar after the Frenchman drove at the heart of the Levante defence.
  • 1'
    And we are off. Levante get the game undeway, moving the ball from right to left.
  • Before that happens though, Robert Carlos is out on the pitch to receive a special award from Florentino Perez and is happily soaking up the adoration of the crowd. What a servant to the club he was.
  • The teams are out at the Bernabeu and we are just about ready to get under way here.
  • If any of you out there are Twitter fans like me, feel free to tweet me your views on the teams tonight or your match predictions to @charliefscott.
  • Subs: K. Navas, Juanfran, Botelho, Ruben Suarez, P. Lopez, Pallardo, Ghezzal
  • Levante (4-4-2): Munua; Venta, Ballesteros, Cabral, Del Horno; Farinos, Iborra, El Zhar, Valdo; Serrano, Kone
  • Subs: Adan, Carvalho, Sahin, Khedira, Kaka, Albiol, Callejon
  • Real Madrid (4-3-3): Casillas; Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Coentrao; Xabi Alonso, Granero, Ozil; Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Higuain
  • Here are tonight's lineups:
  • Asier Del Horno has shrugged off a knock to be deemed fit to start for Levante this evening, but the match comes too soon for Jose Javier Barkero, while Juanfran can only take his place on the substitute's bench following a recent foot injury.
  • Jose Mourinho opts to start both Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain tonight, and they are joined in attack by Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil with Esteban Granero also included in an attack-minded midfield three.
  • Levante have been the Primera Division's surprise package this season, and are sitting precariously in fourth place going into this game. Real Madrid, on the other hand, are exactly where they want to be, seven points clear of Barcelona in first place. Should they win tonight, that gap will be increased to ten points following Barcelona's disappointing defeat to Osasuna last night.
  • Hello and welcome to Goal.com's coverage of this evening's La Liga clash between Real Madrid and Levante at the Santiago Bernabeu. I'm Charlie Scott and I'll be guiding you through tonight's action.