Real Madrid climbed to the top of the LaLiga with a 2-0 win at Levante on Sunday afternoon.
2020/2021 La Liga
Vinicius put Real Madrid ahead after 16 minutes when Levante failed to clear a corner and left the Brazilian in space just inside the area. So often criticised for his finishing he curled a well-struck shot beyond Aitor Fernandez.
He was Madrid’s brightest player in the first half and when he raced clear of Levante’s high defensive line he flashed the centre across the six-yard box and Benzema, who had sprinted to arrive, couldn’t stretch to finish.
Levante were by no means out of it and Nicola Vukcevic headed on to the crossbar. The home side – playing in Villarreal’s Ceramic Stadium because their own redeveloped stadium will not be ready until the end of the month – finished strongly but Madrid deserved their half-time lead.
Madrid were wasteful at the restart with Benzema hitting the post and Vinicius missing two chances. The 20-year-old could and should have had a hat-trick. With those chances missed Levante grew in confidence and when Enis Bardhi shot through a crowd of players Courtois was at full length and it was the right foot that diverted the ball wide.
Ramos headed Real Madrid in front from Luka Modric’s free-kick but the flag was up. Replays appeared to show Ramos had stepped back from his offside position before the free-kick was taken. The replays also showed Ramos had pushed the defender in the back. The goal should have been ruled out for the push but not for the handball. The goal was ruled out, but for the apparently non-existent offside.
Courtois saved Madrid again with two more saves from Bardhi. The second was routine from the midfielder’s disappointing shot but the first was brave and alert, getting down to block the one-on-one chance. It was worthy of the three points.
Benzema raced clear to score the second with the last touch of the game. Levante did not deserve to lose by more than the solitary goal but Benzema’s first goal of the season doubled the lead.
Madrid go into the international break top of the table. ‘I’m glad to have scored but then I missed a chance in the second half which I should not have missed,’ said Vinicius. ‘I know I have to improve but I’m working hard.’
0′ The match is about to start!
4′ Yellow Card! Casemiro booked
7′ CLOSE! Marti’s shot wide out
16′ GOAL! Levante 0-1 Real Madrid (Vinicius)
31′ Post! Vukcevic nearly score
44′ Miramon fire his shot into the sky
52′ CHANCE! Vinicius almost score second goal
59′ Bardhi’s powerful shot stopped by Courtois
63′ Morales hits the side-nets
68′ Disallowed! Ramos scores but the goal is offside
78′ Courtois makes a decent save
88′ Subs! Ødegaard & Isco subbed on
95′ GOAL! Levante 0-2 Real Madrid (Benzema)
Levante XI: Fernandez, Postigo, Miramon, Campana, Vukcevic, Clerc, Marti, Vezo, Morales, M. Malsa, Bardhi
Subs: Duarte, Coke, Tono, Radoja, Melero, Koke, Son, Dani Cárdenas, Rober, Jorge de Frutos, Dani Gómez
Real Madrid XI: Ramos, Modric, Benzema, Courtois, Casemiro, Nacho, Varane, F Mendy, Asensio, Valverde, Vinicius
Subs: Marcelo, Isco, Vazquez, Jovic, M. Ødegaard, A. Lunin, Víctor Chust, Rodrygo, Altube.