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April 6, 2013
• Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
Referee: Carlos Clos Gomez
• Attendance: 64000
G. Higuaín 36'
Cristiano Ronaldo 84'
M. Özil 87', 90'+
Do check out that Higuain goal if you can, it was an absolute pearler. Goodbye everyone!
That's all from me for today guys and girls! What a comeback that was from Madrid. Perfect preparation for their Champions League quarter-final second leg on Tuesday.
FULL-TIME: REAL MADRID 5-1 LEVANTE Mourinho's side reacted sensationally to going behind in the first half by hitting five past Levante. Higuain's sumptuous equaliser was the outstanding moment of the game, while the Argentine also produced a brilliant assist for Ronaldo's goal late on. Ozil scored twice in the closing stages, while Madrid's other goal was scored by Kaka from the penalty spot.
90' + 2'
And there is the final whistle!
90' + 1'
Assist Ángel Di María
90' + 1'
Goal Mesut Özil
90' + 1'
OZIL SCORES AGAIN!! The Germany international grabs his second of the game after the ball falls kindly to him following a driving run into the box from Di Maria.
Not a bad comeback from Madrid then! I'd nearly forgotten they went 1-0 down in the first half!
STAT: Madrid have had 33 shots during this game!
Assist Cristiano Ronaldo
Goal Mesut Özil
OZIL MAKES IT 4-0!! Another great Madrid move results in a goal as Di Maria slices Levante's defence open with a pass to Ronaldo on the left. He shows great awareness to pick out Ozil rather than shoot, which leaves the German with an easy finish from close range.
Surely that's game over now?
Assist Gonzalo Higuaín
Goal Cristiano Ronaldo
FABULOUS GOAL FROM MADRID!! Higuain has put on quite a performance for los Blancos today! The attacker flicks the ball round Ballesteros, collects it and cuts a brilliant pass back to Ronaldo. The Portugal international juggles the ball once before volleying past Munua.
GIVE ME MUNUA, GIVE ME MUNUA... The Levante goalkeper has pulled off some fine saves in the last 15 minutes, and has just sprinted from his line to block Ozil's shot from a tight angle. Great play from him.
RONALDO DOES SOMETHING WRONG!! The Madrid star produces a heavy touch inside the box after racing away from the challenge of Lell. Had he got that right he would have had a great chance to make it 3-1.
ANOTHER GOOD STOP FROM MUNUA!! Ronaldo is thwarted by the Levante goalkeeper on this occasion, as his arrowed shot from 20 yards is tipped wide.
And off goes Levante's goalscorer Michel. He makes way for Jose Barkero for the final 10 minutes or so.
Benzema is the man replaced by Ozil for the home team.
GREAT STOP FROM MUNUA! Higuain's curling shot looks destined for the bottom left corner, but Levante's goalkeeper has other ideas as he dives at full-stretch to keep the ball out.
Madrid's final sub looks set to be Mesut Ozil. What a player. He was unplayable on Wednesday against Galatasaray as los Merengues won 3-0.
Ronaldo goes down under a challenge from Diop inside the Levante box, but the referee is having none of the Madrid appeals for a penalty.
It's taken Di Maria 15 minutes to do anything and when he eventually does it is very disappointing. The Argentine winger cut in from the right on to his left foot and had time to carefully set his shot, but the end product was off target by some distance.
STAT: Madrid have scored at least two goals in their last 13 home matches in La Liga.
A sloppy touch from Marcelo lets the ball run out for a Levante goal kick as Madrid had looked set to fashion a goalscoring opportunity on the left-hand side of the box.
Nabil El Zhar
Two changes for Levante there, as Nabil El Zhar replaces Acquafresca and Rios - fresh from being in a Alonso-Marcelo sandwich is brought off for Valdo.
After that good work Madrid let Rios be the filling for a crunching double challenge from Alonso and Marcelo. That looked painful!
The ball appears to flick up nicely for Benzema but just as he tries to volley it towards goal Rios comes careering out of nowhere to knock it behind for a corner.
We've had no further goals in the second half but Madrid have looked increasingly comfortable. It seems only a matter of time before they add a third.
Benzema tries an audacious flick at the near post to try and divert Ronaldo's cross past Munua but sadly it goes off target. That would have been lovely if it had gone in.
STAT: Madrid have completed 532 passes compared to Levante's 131. The visitors will not be enjoying this game!
Yellow Card Sergio Ramos
THAT IS NAUGHTY FROM RAMOS! The Madrid captain cynically blocks Papakouly Diop as Levante try and counter. He knew exactly what he was doing there, the move had looked dangerous before he intervened.
Munua comes off his line well to claim Modric's out swinging set piece.
Corner for Madrid after Higuain's cross is deflected behind by Loukas Vyntra. Before they take that Mourinho makes his second substitution as Kaka is replaced by Di Maria.
Ángel Di María
ACQUAFRESCA GOES CLOSE!! Levante's lone forward hits a first-time volley just wide after being set up by a clever cross from Rios. That. Was. Close.
Madrid look set to make another change as Angel Di Maria limbers up on the sideline.
My colleague Ben Hayward remarked on Twitter earlier how "Cristiano Ronaldo once said he was "rich, good-looking and a great footballer"; Real Madrid's forwards today: high, wide, not very handsome." Well the Portuguese star has mixed the superb with the shocking in his first 10 minutes on the pitch. He forced Munua into a save a few moments ago, but then just shanked a shot about 15 yards high and wide!
AMBITIOUS FROM KAKA!! The Brazilian sends an unorthodox chipped effort a yard or so wide after Benzema had slipped a neat pass to him on the edge of the Levante box.
MUNUA PARRIES A SHOT FROM RONALDO!! The Levante stopper does just that by keeping Ronaldo's fizzling effort out.
CHANCE FOR BENZEMA!! The Frenchman heads straight at Munua after being picked out by a cross from the right by Arbeloa.
Madrid win the ball back well after Higuain had misplaced a pass on the edge of the Levante box. It eventually finds its way to Modric, who hammers a shot just wide from 25 yards.
STAT: Madrid have had a casual 80% of possession this afternoon.
HEEEERE'S RONNIE!! Cristiano is coming on for Callejon for the second half. Lucky Levante! The visitors get the second half underway at the Bernabeu.
HALF-TIME: REAL MADRID 2-1 LEVANTE Mourinho's men overturned a one-goal deficit with two quick-fire goals from Higuain and Kaka. Michel had given Levante the lead with a deflected effort on 31 minutes before Higuain produced a moment of mastery to level things five minutes later. The Argentine adjusted his body superbly to meet Alonso's high pass and volley a sublime shot past Munua. Kaka then gave Madrid the lead minutes later from the spot after a handball from Lell.
The referee blows the half-time whistle. It is 2-1 to Madrid at the break here.
Wonderful wing play from Marcelo! The Madrid left-back embarks on an exciting run down the left before curling a cross into the Levante box that is headed back up field by Ballesteros.
Levante win a free kick on the left after a foul from Arbeloa on Acquafresca. Ruben's delivery from the set piece is disappointing though, as Madrid are able to clear the ball easily.
Well that was a whirlwind few minutes wasn't it! We have a great game on our hands this afternoon.
Penalty Goal Kaká
KAKA SCORES!! NOW MADRID LEAD!! In the space of three minutes los Blancos turn the game on its head by scoring twice. Kaka calmly curls the spot-kick into the bottom left corner after the referee deemed Lell to have deliberately handled the ball moments before.
PENALTY TO MADRID!
Honestly, try and find a clip of that goal at some point today. You will not regret it. The technique Higuain showed to score was absolutely stunning.
Assist Xabi Alonso
Goal Gonzalo Higuaín
THAT IS ONE OF THE BEST GOALS YOU WILL SEE ALL SEASON!! Higuain equalises for the home side with an outrageous acrobatic volley from 15 yards after being picked out by Alonso. The Argentine connected with that pass so well to send it flying into the top corner with his right foot.
I cannot believe Levante are winning this game! Following on from that earlier completed passes stat. It's now Madrid 303-51 Levante! The away side showing its not how much you have the ball that matters, but what you do with it when you do have it.
Madrid try and hit back immediately after surprisingly going behind but they are thwarted by an incorrect offside decision after Benzema had latched on to Modric's delicately chipped through ball.
Assist Pedro Ríos
LEVANTE TAKE THE LEAD!! The best counter-attacking team in the world are beaten by an excellent counter attack from the visitors! Michel is the man that beats Lopez, after playing a good one-two with Rios on the right.
Callejon then shows Arbeloa how its done by dancing past a couple of challenges to get to the byline and dink a great cross to Modric inside the Levante box.
Madrid attack down the right through Callejon and Arbeloa but the move breaks down due to a limp cross into the centre from the latter of the two.
Again the flag is up against Acquafresca, this time after a corner is flicked on to him. On this occasion the official has got that wrong, the Italian was clearly onside!
WOW. This is a huge stat. Passes completed in the first half so far. Real Madrid 211-34 Levante.
I've decided if Kaka were an animal he would be a gazelle. What do you lot think? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter @charliefscott or in the comments box on the right. Or you could suggest some other Madrid player-animals!
I tell you what there are few things in football as elegant as Kaka in full flow. The former Milan icon has had a decent start to this game and has set off on some lovely runs in the opening 20 minutes or so.
A brilliant counter attack from Madrid carves Levante open but sadly Callejon's shot at the end of it is overcooked and the ball flies over the crossbar.
STAT: Madrid are undefeated in their last 26 home matches in La Liga.
GREAT SAVE FROM MUNUA!! The Levante stopper produces a fine stop to keep out Kaka's effort after the Brazilian had ghosted into the box thanks to some very good off the ball running from Higuain that pulled the visitors' centre-backs out of position.
BENZ FLASHES AN EFFORT WIDE!! The France international creates some space 25 yards out but his eventual shot is wayward and drifts off target as Madrid continue their search for an opening goal.
Levante aren't really in this game at the moment. Madrid are absolutely dominating possession in midfield, with Alonso and Luka Modric seeing an awful lot of the ball.
Alonso's free kick fails to beat the Levante wall though, as the ball flicks off the head of Ballesteros and bounces away from danger.
Pedro Rios clatters into Marcelo over on the left-hand side and Madrid have rightly been awarded a free kick. No Cristiano on the pitch so set piece duties are passed on to Xabi Alonso.
Callejon whips another good cross to Higuain but the former River Plate striker had strayed into an offside decision which was spotted by the eagle-eyed linesman on the near side.
Madrid are getting the ball into dangerous areas in Levante's half but they are yet to force Munua into making any saves of note.
*OLD MAN UPDATE* I've been told that the elderly gentleman with the poor first touch that was on the pitch before kick-off is in fact the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon. Poor knowledge from me not knowing that.
LOPEZ TIPS A SHOT WIDE!! The Madrid goalkeeper is forced into making a save after Robert Acquafresca hits a shot towards the bottom left corner from distance.
Jose Callejon clips an inviting cross towards Gonzalo Higuain from the right but Ballesteros beats the Argentine in the air and heads the ball clear.
The Brazilian launches a speculative effort at goal with his unfavoured right foot, and unsurprisingly the shot swings some way wide of Gustavo Munua's goal.
And now we are under way over in Madrid! The home side take the kick-off and quickly attack down the left through Marcelo.
We are just seconds from kick-off here. BUT FIRST there is an old man walking on to the Bernabeu pitch, and I'm not talking about Levante's 37-year-old captain Sergio Ballesteros. The distinguished looking gentleman has just booted the ball about 10 yards. Not sure what that is all in aid of!
So Iker Casillas is again on the bench for los Blancos! Mourinho really is sticking to his guns with that decision - he let rip at a journalist before the game against Galatasaray for questioning his faith in Diego Lopez.
I'm Charlie Scott by the way, I rudely forgot to introduce myself at the start of this commentary. Shocking behaviour from me there.
So Madrid name Ronaldo as a substitute, and choose to start both Karim Benzema and Gonzalo HIguain up front. How will that impact on their performance today? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter @charliefscott.
Levante (4-2-3-1): Munua; Juanfran, Ballesteros, Vynta; Lell; Iborra, Diop; Ruben, Michel, Pedro Rios; Aquafresca
Subs: Casillas, Ronaldo, Ozil, Essien, Albiol, Di Maria, Nacho
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Lopez; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Modric; Kaka, Callejon, Benzema; Higuain
RONALDO IS ON THE BENCH!
Let's find out shall we! Team news coming right up...
Madrid are on the hunt for their seventh straight home win in the league today, but Jose Mourinho may decide to rest players ahead of their Champions League quarter-final second leg against Galatasaray on Tuesday.
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Liga clash at Santiago Bernabeu between Real Madrid and Levante.
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