Match ends, Real Madrid 3, Levante 0.
Real Madrid 3-0 Levante
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 2VaraneSubstituted forNachoat 69'minutes
- 4RamosBooked at 54mins
- 19ModricSubstituted forIscoat 74'minutes
- 22Di MaríaBooked at 58mins
- 9BenzemaSubstituted forRodríguez Ruizat 82'minutes
- 7Cristiano Ronaldo
- 20Rodríguez Ruiz
- 6VyntraBooked at 58mins
- 4NavarroBooked at 64mins
- 12García García
- 19López Muñoz
- 14PallardóBooked at 62minsSubstituted forEl Adouaat 69'minutes
- 7BarralSubstituted forRodríguez Díazat 87'minutes
- 18da Silva PintoSubstituted forGómez Fernándezat 74'minutes
- 8El Zhar
- 9Rodríguez Díaz
- 11García Santos
- 13Jiménez Camarero
- 16El Adoua
- 25Gómez Fernández
- Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Real Madrid 3, Levante 0.
Attempt missed. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Daniel Carvajal went off injured after Real Madrid had used all subs.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid) because of an injury.
Foul by Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid).
Ángel (Levante) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
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.
Offside, Real Madrid. Xabi Alonso tries a through ball, but Gareth Bale is caught offside.
Substitution, Levante. Ángel replaces David Barral.
Attempt saved. Ángel Di María (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Isco.
Attempt blocked. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Daniel Carvajal.
Ángel Di María (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Pedro López (Levante).
Attempt missed. Isco (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Daniel Carvajal.
Substitution, Real Madrid. Jesé replaces Karim Benzema.
Own Goal by Nikos Karabelas, Levante. Real Madrid 3, Levante 0.
Attempt missed. Isco (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Ángel Di María.
Offside, Real Madrid. Ángel Di María tries a through ball, but Cristiano Ronaldo is caught offside.