La Liga leaders Real Madrid maintained their control of the Spanish title race with a ruthless win against Levante.

Cristiano Ronaldo jumped highest to powerfully head in Angel Di Maria's left-wing corner and Marcelo doubled their lead shortly after the restart.

The Brazil left-back created space with a cute stepover and curled into the far corner before Levante were reduced to 10 men after David Navarro's dismissal.

Nikos Karabelas then slid into his own goal as Real moved three points clear.

Recent La Liga winners

Season Winner Runners-up

2008-09

Barcelona

Real Madrid

2009-10

Barcelona

Real Madrid

2010-11

Barcelona

Real Madrid

2011-12

Real Madrid

Barcelona

2012-13

Barcelona

Real Madrid

After rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid both played on Saturday, focus switched back to Real in a three-way title battle which is showing no signs of losing intensity.

Carlo Ancelotti's side began the game in second place after Atletico had moved top, courtesy of their superior head-to-head record against their neighbours, with a 2-0 win at Celta Vigo.

Reigning champions Barcelona were a further point behind the pair after a shock 1-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Real Valladolid.

It meant Real Madrid went into the Bernabeu contest knowing the destination of the title was firmly in their own hands.

Los Blancos, who are now unbeaten in 29 matches across all competitions, will regain the title from Barcelona if they manage to win each of their remaining games, including their home 'El Clasico' match against Barca on 23 March.

Marcelo doubled Real Madrid's lead shortly after the restart

Marcelo doubled Real lead shortly after the restart

And anything other than a home victory against mid-table Levante rarely looked in doubt. The hosts began at a ferocious pace and played with an assurance and swagger that continued throughout a dominant display.

After piling on the early pressure, Real found the breakthrough when Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo climbed above a static away defence to nod in his 38th goal of the season.

Real continued to dictate the tempo and, although Levante regained their composure to provide some resistance, goalkeeper Keylor Navas had to produce several superb saves before half-time.

His defiance lasted less than four minutes after the restart, though, as Real opened up a deserved two-goal cushion.

Busy Navas

Levante keeper Keylor Navas made eight saves against Real Madrid - more than in any other La Liga game this season.

Marcelo scampered down the left flank and played a neat one-two with Ronaldo before producing a sublime piece of skill - and the finish to match - to score his first Real goal since September 2012.

Levante's uphill task was made even harder when defender Navarro was shown a straight red card for a crude challenge on Ronaldo.

Real continued to press with their numerical advantage, without showing their previous urgency, as Levante struggled to keep the hosts at bay.

And the pressure finally told when Greek left-back Karabelas haplessly diverted Marcelo's left-wing cross past team-mate Navas.

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (6)

Real Madrid

  • 25 López
  • 15 Carvajal
  • 12 Marcelo
  • 14 Alonso
  • 02 Varane (Nacho - 69' )
  • 04 Ramos Booked
  • 19 Modric (Isco - 74' )
  • 22 Di María Booked
  • 09 Benzema (Jesé - 82' )
  • 11 Bale
  • 07 Ronaldo

Substitutes

  • 01 Casillas
  • 03 Pepe
  • 18 Nacho
  • 20 Jesé
  • 21 Morata
  • 23 Isco
  • 24 Illarramendi

Levante

  • 01 Navas
  • 06 Vyntra Booked
  • 15 Karabelas
  • 22 Sissoko
  • 04 Navarro Dismissed
  • 12 García García
  • 19 López Muñoz
  • 14 Pallardó Booked (El Adoua - 69' )
  • 07 Barral (Rodríguez Díaz - 87' )
  • 18 da Silva Pinto (Gómez Fernández - 74' )
  • 21 Ivanschitz

Substitutes

  • 08 El Zhar
  • 09 Rodríguez Díaz
  • 11 García Santos
  • 13 Jiménez Camarero
  • 16 El Adoua
  • 17 Xumetra
  • 25 Gómez Fernández
Ref: Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva
Att: 74,172

Match Stats

Shots

25 6

On target

10 1

Corners

12 2

Fouls

12 12

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Real Madrid 3, Levante 0.

90:00 +3:25 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Real Madrid 3, Levante 0.

90:00 +2:26

Attempt missed. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Cristiano Ronaldo.

90:00 +1:02

Daniel Carvajal went off injured after Real Madrid had used all subs.

90:00 +1:01

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

89:30

Delay in match Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid) because of an injury.

89:23

Foul by Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid).

89:23

Ángel (Levante) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:15

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) hits the bar with a header from the right side of the six yard box. Assisted by Marcelo with a cross.

87:36

Offside, Real Madrid. Xabi Alonso tries a through ball, but Gareth Bale is caught offside.

86:53 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Levante. Ángel replaces David Barral.

85:35

Attempt saved. Ángel Di María (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Isco.

85:08

Attempt blocked. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Daniel Carvajal.

83:26

Ángel Di María (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.

83:26

Foul by Pedro López (Levante).

81:55

Attempt missed. Isco (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Daniel Carvajal.

81:16 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Madrid. Jesé replaces Karim Benzema.

80:13 Goal scored

Goal! Own Goal by Nikos Karabelas, Levante. Real Madrid 3, Levante 0.

78:09

Attempt missed. Isco (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Ángel Di María.

76:46

Offside, Real Madrid. Ángel Di María tries a through ball, but Cristiano Ronaldo is caught offside.

75:53

Attempt missed. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ángel Di María.

74:35

Offside, Real Madrid. Xabi Alonso tries a through ball, but Nacho is caught offside.

74:02

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Nikos Karabelas.

74:01

Attempt blocked. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Karim Benzema.

73:59

Attempt saved. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal.

73:58

Attempt saved. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ángel Di María with a cross.

73:49 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Levante. Nagore replaces Sergio Pinto.

73:33 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Madrid. Isco replaces Luka Modric.

72:55

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Loukas Vyntra.

72:53

Attempt blocked. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Marcelo.

71:47

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) hits the bar with a header from very close range. Assisted by Daniel Carvajal with a cross following a corner.

71:06

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Nikos Karabelas.

70:40

Attempt saved. Issam El Adoua (Levante) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by David Barral.

69:31

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:31

Foul by David Barral (Levante).

68:33 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Levante. Issam El Adoua replaces Miguel Pallardó.

68:19 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Madrid. Nacho replaces Raphael Varane.

67:24

Attempt missed. Marcelo (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Karim Benzema following a fast break.

63:16 Dismissal

Dismissal David Navarro (Levante) is shown the red card for fighting.

63:12

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

63:12

Foul by David Navarro (Levante).

62:15

Foul by Gareth Bale (Real Madrid).

62:15

Andreas Ivanschitz (Levante) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

61:40 Booking

Booking Miguel Pallardó (Levante) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

61:35

Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

61:35

Foul by Miguel Pallardó (Levante).

61:00

Foul by Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).

61:00

David Barral (Levante) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

60:08

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

60:08

Foul by David Barral (Levante).

59:40

Foul by Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid).

59:40

David Barral (Levante) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

57:58 Booking

Booking Loukas Vyntra (Levante) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

57:51

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

57:51

Foul by Loukas Vyntra (Levante).

57:44

Attempt blocked. Andreas Ivanschitz (Levante) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

57:03 Booking

Booking Ángel Di María (Real Madrid) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

57:00

Hand ball by Ángel Di María (Real Madrid).

56:52

Attempt blocked. Marcelo (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Karim Benzema with a headed pass.

56:41

Attempt saved. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Ángel Di María.

55:33

Attempt blocked. Miguel Pallardó (Levante) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

54:53

Raphael Varane (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

54:53

Foul by David Navarro (Levante).

54:20

Corner, Levante. Conceded by Cristiano Ronaldo.

53:50 Booking

Booking Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

53:48

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

53:25

Delay in match Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) because of an injury.

52:59

Foul by Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).

52:59

Loukas Vyntra (Levante) wins a free kick on the right wing.

52:34

Attempt blocked. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

51:12

Attempt missed. Sergio Pinto (Levante) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Miguel Pallardó following a set piece situation.

51:07

Foul by Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).

51:07

David Barral (Levante) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

49:44

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

49:44

Foul by David Barral (Levante).

48:03 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Real Madrid 2, Levante 0. Marcelo (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Cristiano Ronaldo.

46:12

Foul by Ángel Di María (Real Madrid).

46:12

Pedro López (Levante) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

46:02

Attempt blocked. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Luka Modric.

45:00

Second Half begins Real Madrid 1, Levante 0.

45:00 +1:02 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Real Madrid 1, Levante 0.

45:00 +0:37

Attempt saved. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Marcelo with a cross.

44:14

Marcelo (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

44:14

Foul by Sergio Pinto (Levante).

42:48

Foul by Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).

42:48

Pedro López (Levante) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

42:01

Offside, Levante. Andreas Ivanschitz tries a through ball, but Sergio Pinto is caught offside.

41:37

Corner, Levante. Conceded by Daniel Carvajal.

38:38

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Keylor Navas.

38:20

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Pedro López.

37:47

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Andreas Ivanschitz.

36:07

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

36:07

Foul by Pedro López (Levante).

35:53

Foul by Luka Modric (Real Madrid).

35:53

Pedro López (Levante) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

33:43

Offside, Real Madrid. Ángel Di María tries a through ball, but Cristiano Ronaldo is caught offside.

29:11

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Juanfran.

28:26

Attempt missed. David Navarro (Levante) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Andreas Ivanschitz with a cross following a set piece situation.

27:44

Foul by Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).

27:44

David Barral (Levante) wins a free kick on the right wing.

26:32

Attempt missed. Ángel Di María (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Xabi Alonso.

25:11

Raphael Varane (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

25:11

Foul by Andreas Ivanschitz (Levante).

23:19

Offside, Real Madrid. Xabi Alonso tries a through ball, but Cristiano Ronaldo is caught offside.

23:07

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

22:20

Delay in match Keylor Navas (Levante) because of an injury.

22:00

Attempt saved. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Gareth Bale with a through ball.

22:00

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Keylor Navas.

17:33

Attempt missed. Andreas Ivanschitz (Levante) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Sergio Pinto with a headed pass.

16:26

Attempt saved. Ángel Di María (Real Madrid) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Karim Benzema.

15:27

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Loukas Vyntra.

14:53

Ángel Di María (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

14:53

Foul by Mohamed Sissoko (Levante).

14:07

Attempt missed. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Daniel Carvajal.

13:15

Offside, Real Madrid. Gareth Bale tries a through ball, but Karim Benzema is caught offside.

10:54 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Real Madrid 1, Levante 0. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ángel Di María with a cross following a corner.

10:31

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Loukas Vyntra.

6:46

Offside, Levante. Juanfran tries a through ball, but David Barral is caught offside.

6:24

Foul by Raphael Varane (Real Madrid).

6:24

David Barral (Levante) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

5:49

Attempt saved. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ángel Di María.

3:17

Offside, Real Madrid. Marcelo tries a through ball, but Karim Benzema is caught offside.

2:23

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Mohamed Sissoko.

1:40

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Juanfran.

0:20

Offside, Real Madrid. Marcelo tries a through ball, but Cristiano Ronaldo is caught offside.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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