Mourinho's men cruise to victory to put pressure on Barca
Real Madrid easily disposed of Levante 2-0 at the Bernabeu to keep up the pressure on leaders Barcelona before their clash with Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
Karim Benzema opened the scoring early in the game after some marvellous play by Angel Di Maria and Ricardo Carvalho added a second to give Jose Mourinho's men the win, closing the gap on Barca to just two points.
Real took the game by storm and opened the scoring as early as the seventh minute. Di Maria went on a blistering run on the right, leaving three defenders in his wake, before crossing for Benzema who was left with the simplest of finishes just outside the six-yard box.
The visitors were struggling to get into the game and Cristiano Ronaldo nearly lobbed Gustavo Munua in the 20th minute, while moments later Di Maria stung the goalkeeper's palms with a thunderous curled shot from distance.
Madrid continued to dominate the game and were looking to exploit all the space given to the attackers by Levante's somewhat uncoordinated defence. A second goal was on the way and it came from an unlikely source in the form of Carvalho. The defender pounced on a terrible mistake by the visitors' centre-backs and tapped in a fierce free-kick driven in by Ronaldo from the left.
The second half continued in the same pattern as the first as Real were chasing for a third goal. Munua nearly made a howler in the 48th minute when he allowed a backpass to slip through his legs, but managed to clear the ball away just before a Madrid player could take advantage.
In the 53rd minute Sami Khedira pounced on a loose ball after a slick attacking move involving Benzema and Di Maria, but his finish from just inside the box lacked venom and was easily claimed by Gustavo.
The tempo slowly began to drop and soon the game was being played at a snail's pace as the hosts were clearly looking to see out the match. Levante got their best chance of the game in the 68th minute, but Felipe Caicedo could not put the ball past Antonio Adan.
Substitute Emmanuel Adebayor had the ball in the net in the 92nd minute after a stunning run by Mesut Oezil, but it was ruled out after Ronaldo, who touched the ball prior to it reaching the Togolese striker, was called offside and this proved to be the last action of the match.
Following Saturday's result Real Madrid are second in the standings with 60 points, just two behind Barcelona who entertain Athletic Bilbao on Sunday evening