Cristiano Ronaldo went some way to undoing the damage, scoring from the spot in the 34th minute at the Snatiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night. After an own goal by Levante goalkeeper Diego Marino added to the lead in the 38th minute and Francisco “Isco” Alarcon sealed the victory in second-half injury time. Brazilian striker Deyverson scored Levante’s goal in the 39th minute.
Almost out of contention for the title with 11 games to go, Madrid are now looking to at least secure third in the table, which guarantees an automatic spot in the Champions League next season without having to play in the qualifying round.
Missing several regular starters – including Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo – they struggled to impose themselves over Levante. Madrid controlled possession at the Ciutat de Valencia Stadium, but the hosts had chances to earn at least a draw.
Ronaldo missed a penalty against Malaga two rounds ago, but struck the net with a firm low shot on Wednesday after Lucas Vazquez was fouled inside the area. It was the eighth goal in seven matches for the Portuguese striker, and he almost added another in the 66th minute, but his close-range shot struck the post.
Teenage striker Mayoral played a key party in helping Madrid increase the lead with a shot from the edge of the area in the 38th minute. The ball hit the post and bounced off goalkeeper Marino, who ended up pushing it across the line as he tried to grab it.
Levante scored a minute later with Deyverson’s easy goal from inside the area after Real’s defence had failed to clear a long ball sent into the box, but Isco sealed the points.