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Summary

  1. Bale scores first goals in nine games
  2. Real narrow gap on Barca to one point
  3. Ronaldo misses several chances
  4. Casillas dropped for Navas, Modric & Ramos in XI
  5. Levante 18th, remain in relegation zone

Live Reporting

By Patrick Jennings

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    Real and Barca go head-to-head at Camp Nou at 20:00 GMT on Sunday, 22, March.

    We will of course be covering that one, so make sure you're here with us.

    That's all from me this evening but allow me to point you in the direction of our Major League Soccer coverage.

    Former Barca striker David Villa has put New York City 1-0 up in their first ever home match, at Yankee Stadium. They're approaching the half-time break agianst New England and you can catch up on the game here.

  2. FULL-TIME

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    The curtain falls on a comfortable win for Real. Gareth Bale got two badly-needed goals, and now Carlo Ancelotti's side trail Barcelona by just one point.

    Next Sunday is the big one though. El Clasico.

  3. Post update

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    The stands have empted pretty sharpish. There won't be any white handkerchiefs on display tonight.

  4. Post update

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    The other narrative of tonight's game is Cristiano Ronaldo's woe in front of goal. How many has he missed now?

    His latest attempt is hastily blazed over the bar.

  5. Post update

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    Three minutes added on.

    Three for Gareth Bale to find a third.

  6. CLOSE!

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    How did Javier Hernandez miss that? Marcelo curls a lovely free-kick and the Mexican heads way wide when it was easier to at least get it on target.

    The assistant referee had his flag up anyway though.

  7. YELLOW CARD

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    Sergio Ramos, just one game back and he's got another yellow card. 19 career red cards, Ramos has. Six straight and 13 two-yellows.

    Five to play and Real are cruising.

  8. CLOSE!

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    Cristiano Ronaldo denied again! He finds space on the edge of the box to fire one straight at Diego Marino, who punches the ball away.

  9. Post update

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    Karim Benzema, oh what might have been. That back-heel volley was sublime, but the crossbar was having none of it.

    Off he trots now, with Javier Hernandez on as Real make their final change.

  10. Post update

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    Asier Illarramendi sprays a lovely ball across the pitch as Real continue to probe. A flick from Cristiano Ronaldo plays in Karim Benzema, who has to turn away from goal and recycle the ball - Levante have got everybody back in defence.

  11. Post update

    New York City 1-0 New England

    By the way, do you know about our Major League Soccer coverage tonight?

    Check it out over here.

  12. Post update

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    Luka Modric, rehabilitation part two complete. Asier Illarramendi comes on for the Croatian. Modric has been elegant, precise and industrious.

  13. Post update

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    It really isn't Cristiano Roanldo's night is it? He demands the ball from Jese, scampering towards the edge of the Levante area, but his touch is terrible, allowing Levante to clear.

    The ball just got stuck in his feet as he tried to work space for a shot. Real will need him on top form next week.

  14. SUBSTITUTION

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    Kalu Uche is off and Víctor Casadesus on for Levante. Their final change of the night.

  15. Post update

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    Very good question Paul. My guess is that Gareth Bale would turn it after Cristiano Ronaldo hit the bar.

    But I think we all know what the real answer would be.

  16. Join the debate at #bbceurofooty

    Paul Martin: If Madrid got a penalty, would Bale take it?

    Get involved using #bbceurofooty on Twitter, or text us on 81111 in the UK only - don't forget to let us know your name and location.

  17. CLOSE!

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    Gareth Bale is denied a hat-trick! He actually looks offside as Karim Benzema plays him through the Levante defence lined up on the edge of the penalty area, but it's no matter. Bale shoots into the 'keepers legs, and Jese is denied a goal with his first touch on the rebound as defenders scramble.

    There's still time though.

  18. SUBSTITUTION

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    Isco is coming off now for Jese. An attacking move from Carlo Ancelotti. There's four strikers up top.

  19. Post update

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    Gareth Bale wants to lay one on for Cristiano Ronaldo, that's pretty much for sure. His latest cross for Ronaldo is blocked by a diving Levante defender, but Bale is finding loads of space down the right wing.

  20. HITS THE WOODWORK

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    Karim Benzema almost scores a ridiculously good goal. He back heels one, first time on the volley, but is denied by the crossbar. It cannons back to him and Benzema has another bite at it, but he slices the ball terribly.

    He's laughing abut it now, but seriously, is there no justice?!

  21. Post update

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    There's a bit more bite from Levante going forward, but still Real are looking very assured.

  22. SUBSTITUTION

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    Double substitution from Levante. Jordi Xumetra sprints off for Nabil El Zhar (yes, formerly of Liverpool), and Jose Luis Morales makes way for Ruben Garcia.

    Can that lift the away side?

  23. Post update

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    A very good point Andy. Good luck convincing Cristiano though.

    A little bit of quality lacking from Real in front of goal. They're working the ball around neatly - and Luka Modric is looking back to his best - but there's little final product.

  24. Text us on 81111

    Andy, Nottingham: If you check the goal from the angle directly behind Cristiano Ronaldo you can see it's going wide until Bale diverts it in. Well played Gareth, didn't nick anything from anyone!

    Get involved using #bbceurofooty on Twitter, or text us on 81111 in the UK only - don't forget to let us know your name and location.

  25. Post update

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    Here's a man who wants a goal as well - Karim Benzema blasts one over the bar, first time on the volley in Marco van Basten territory. It would have been spectacular.

  26. Post update

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    You definitely feel there will be goals to come still Wayne. Not sure Bale will want to nick another from Cristiano Ronaldo though. The look on Ronaldo's face told a very interesting story after he turned that second one in. Bale could hardly have got out the way though.

  27. Join the debate at #bbceurofooty

    Wayne Connor-Scahill: All hail Senor Bale! Third goal due next and again we back the greatest Welshman in Spain!

    Keyu Sumaria: Marca to write two pages on how Bale steals goals from CR7 ... I feel for him.

    Get involved using #bbceurofooty on Twitter, or text us on 81111 in the UK only - don't forget to let us know your name and location.

  28. Post update

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    No changes from either side after the break and Real have begun the second half in the same way they did the first. White shirts dominating possession.

  29. Post update

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    Back under way at Santiago Bernabeu.

  30. Post update

    Marseille 0-0 Lyon

    French Ligue 1

    It's half-time at the Stade Velodrome as well. As it stands, Lyon are going two points clear of Paris Saint-Germain.

  31. Join the debate at #bbceurofooty

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    Mike Heal: Gareth Bale responding to Marca criticism. Can't imagine they'll do a double page spread on his performance tonight though.

    Get involved using #bbceurofooty on Twitter, or text us on 81111 in the UK only - don't forget to let us know your name and location.

  32. HALF-TIME

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    Welcome back Sergio Ramos. He launches himself into a header, conceding a corner but stopping a dangerous-looking Levante cross. The corner is cleared by Pepe, and after about 15 seconds of added time, the referee blows up.

    This half-time conversation between Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo would make for very interesting listening indeed,

  33. Post update

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

    Brilliant from Isco. He beats his man on the Real left and stands one up for Cristiano Ronaldo, but he can only connect with his shoulder.

    Ronaldo is brimming over - he beats the ground in frustration. First denied by the post, and then his team-mate Gareth Bale.

  34. GOAL

    Real Madrid 2-0 Levante - Gareth Bale

    Gareth Bale has nicked this one off Cristiano Ronaldo! It was Ronaldo's angled, low shot but the final touch was from Bale and now, after all the chat about his goalscoring, Bale is on a hat-trick.

    Ronaldo will not be happy though. Hard to tell if his shot would have gone in anyway, my feeling is yes.

  35. Post update

    Real Madrid 1-0 Levante

    After that opening half hour or so, Real have tailed off slightly. Levante have found their shape and with seven players in the Real half now they send a cross in towards Kalu Uche from deep. Too long though, Uche can only steer it out for a goal kick.

  36. Post update

    Real Madrid 1-0 Levante

    But this is a bit better from the away side - Pepe has to intervene after some lovely interplay on the outside of the box. Still no shots though.

  37. Post update

    Real Madrid 1-0 Levante

    Nine passes this time from Levante before Keylor Navas actually touches the ball, sending it back to Sergio Ramos, who was obviously feeling sorry for him.

  38. Post update

    Real Madrid 1-0 Levante

    Gareth Bale brings the ball down beautifully on the edge of the area, sweeps into a bit of space and onto his left foot - he's going to shoot, surely? Top left? But instead it's a driven pass into the feet of Cristiano Ronaldo, whose touch is poor and the move is over.

    Have a pop from there Gareth, no?

  39. Post update

    Real Madrid 1-0 Levante

    Finally a bit of play for Levante now, that was eight passes I think before Real won it back? Keylor Navas, in for Iker Casillas, has had nothing to do.

  40. HITS THE WOODWORK

    Real Madrid 1-0 Levante

    Here's Gareth Bale on the right, what will that goal do for him? Well it nearly totally transforms his luck for starters, as a cross he fires across goal is deflected onto the Levante bar at about 200mph.

    Bale then has a chance with a header from the corner, but it's high and wide from the Welshman.

  41. Post update

    Real Madrid 1-0 Levante

    Very, very nearly another goal as Cristiano Ronaldo is only denied by the toe of Tono, the defender just stealing back in time to frustrate the Portugal international for the second time tonight.

    The goal was gaping after Marcelo's cut-back from the left.

  42. Post update

    Marseille 0-0 Lyon

    French Ligue 1

    Here's another big game in Europe that I'm sure you're aware of. Marseille's home game with Lyon, who are looking to extend their lead at the top of the Ligue 1 table, after Paris Saint-Germain lost 3-2 at Bordeaux earlier today. Goalless so far.

  43. Join the debate at #bbceurofooty

    Jujaboy kubai: I think Iker Casillas's downfall started when Jose Mourinho was there. He was given only Champions League football and since then all hell has broken loose...

    Kindinu Kakumba: Real have to win tonight, they need some confidence ahead of the big one next week.

    Opeyemi: I think Sevilla will decide the title. They have not lost in a year, with Real and Barca still to play there.

    Get involved using #bbceurofooty on Twitter, or text us on 81111 in the UK only - don't forget to let us know your name and location.

  44. Post update

    Real Madrid 1-0 Levante

    Loads and loads of Real possession and they finally lead. It really was only a matter of time because Levante have barely touched the ball. This could be a rugby score. Fill your boots Gareth.

  45. GOAL

    Real Madrid 1-0 Levante - Gareth Bale

    Told you so! Gareth Bale has got it, and his wait for a goal is over. He fires the ball home, which was loose in the box after Levante failed to clear first a Cristiano Ronaldo scissor-kick-style effort and then a Karim Benzema header.

    Boy does he look relieved.

  46. DISALLOWED GOAL

    Real Madrid 0-0 Levante

    There's definitely one coming though. Real had three players in an offside position, including Karim Benzema, who poked the ball home after Luka Modric's shot from outside the box was fumbled by the Levante 'keeper.

  47. Post update

    Real Madrid 0-0 Levante

    Free-kick to Cristiano Ronaldo. Who else is going to take it from here? Slightly to the left-centre, 29 metres from goal we are informed.

    Deep breath, and... into the wall? Yep.

  48. Post update

    Real Madrid 0-0 Levante

    There's some noisy support in tonight, but a few empty seats too. Of those in the stands, there are some very dapper looking chaps. One such with a very modern twist on the panama hat, coupled with some pretty snappy shades.

    Real are stroking the ball around under no pressure whatsoever. Levante are spectators too.

  49. Post update

    Real Madrid 0-0 Levante

    Real are all over this. Levante can't get hold of the ball.

  50. Post update

    Real Madrid 0-0 Levante

    A lovely nonchalant little flick from Karim Benzema to find Ronaldo there. He feigned as if to shoot, and just turned his body ever so slightly to send it right into his team-mate's path. 'How dare the post deny me!?', Ronaldo glared.

  51. HITS THE WOODWORK

    Real Madrid 0-0 Levante

    Cristiano Ronaldo is keen too! A clever pass inside from Karim Benzema finds the waxwork enthusiast in the box, he stabs it towards goal but it's come back off the upright! Ronaldo can't believe it, the look he is giving that post, could kill.

  52. Post update

    Real Madrid 0-0 Levante

    An early chance for Gareth Bale as he juggles a chipped ball from Marcelo in the box before lifting it up and towards goal. A shot? Cristiano Ronaldo was looking to latch on to it, but it flashes wide.

    Bright start from Bale.

  53. Post update

    Real Madrid 0-0 Levante

    We are under way.

  54. Post update

    Real Madrid v Levante (20:00 GMT)

    The players are out on the pitch, but there is a minute's silence to be held before the game in memory of former Real goalkeeper Antonio Betancort, who has died aged 78.

    Betancort made 177 appearances for Real between 1961 and 1971, winning six Spanish league titles, two Spanish cups, and Real's sixth European Cup in 1966, when they beat Partizan Belgrade 2-1.

  55. Join the debate at #bbceurofooty

    Real Madrid v Levante (20:00 GMT)

    Stuart Monro: Real don't know how good they've got it. Bale is having a tough spell. So is the whole team. Stick with him he'll come good.

    Callum Manki: I think that Iker Casillas is past it now, he was amazing about five years ago but he is just too old. Still a legend however.

    Get involved using #bbceurofooty on Twitter, or text us on 81111 in the UK only - don't forget to let us know your name and location.

  56. Post update

    Real Madrid v Levante (20:00 GMT)

    Iker Casillas

    Iker Casillas will be watching from the bench tonight then. He's dropped for the first time in the league since November.

    He did look a bit shaky in Tuesday's 4-3 defeat at home to Schalke.

  57. "We'll arrive for El Clasico in perfect shape"

    Eibar 0-2 Barcelona

    Barcelona manager Luis Enrique is certainly feeling confident about his team's chances in next week's meeting with Real. "We will arrive as leaders and in perfect shape,'' Enrique said after Barca's 2-0 win at Eibar yesterday.

    Lionel Messi was in majestic form, dazzling us with novel ways to evade pretty much every player on the pitch, but scored two pretty ordinary goals, at least by his standards. One a penalty, buried, the other a header.

    Sunday 22, March, 20:00 GMT. It's set up to be a brilliant encounter.

  58. Join the debate at #bbceurofooty

    Real Madrid v Levante (20:00 GMT)

    As ever we'd love to hear from you. What do you make of Real's line-up tonight? Is dropping Iker Casillas fair? Do you think Bale will get a goal? How do you rate Real's chances in next week's Clasico meeting with Barca?

    Get involved using #bbceurofooty on Twitter, or text us on 81111 in the UK only - don't forget to let us know your name and location.

  59. LINE-UPS

    Real Madrid v Levante (20:00 GMT)

    The teams are in already so let's have a look how Marca's predictions played out...

    Sergio Ramos returns to the starting line-up for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury in early February, Luka Modric also makes his first start since returning from injury, but the big news is that Iker Casillas has been dropped, with Keylor Navas coming in.

    Real XI: Navas, Pepe, Ramos, Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale, Marcelo, Carvajal, Lucas Silva, Modric, Isco.

    Levante XI: Marino, Lopez, Navarro, Ramis, Tono, Camarasa, Simao, Xumetra, Barral, Morales, Uche.

  60. Is it all about Bale?

    Real Madrid v Levante (20:00 GMT)

    Carlo Ancelotti

    Bale hasn't scored in his last seven matches, but was inches away from scoring an absolutely stunning equaliser in Real's 1-0 defeat against Athletic Bilbao last Saturday. His long-range lob crashed against the bar with eight minutes to play, and that was that. The fine margins.

    Ancelotti's certainly been protective of Bale, preferring to share the blame amongst the team as a whole after a run which has seen his side drop five points in their last two league games.

    Tonight, there should be more positive news for the Real faithful. Levante are 18th in the Spanish table, and have won just once away from home all season.

  61. Is it all about Bale?

    Real Madrid v Levante (20:00 GMT)

    Gareth Bale

    As European football writer Andy West explained in an article on our website this week, Bale appears to have become something of a scapegoat for Real's poor form.

    The 11 points in the photo above detail Marca's analysis of Bale's performance this season, with Spain's most influential sports paper describing the Welshman as having made "apparently little effort to integrate with the group 20 months after his arrival", and "absent, lost and identifying little with the cause".

  62. Crisis at Real?

    Real Madrid v Levante (20:00 GMT)

    Good evening and welcome. You won't find any boxing puns here, promise.

    Instead it's all about the 'crisis' at Real, and those inverted commas are there for a reason.

    Just 10 months on from winning the club its 10th European Cup, not to mention ending 2014 with triumph at the Club World Cup and a record-breaking 22-match unbeaten run, the Spanish press have been going in with the big guns.

    Florentino Perez

    Real president Florentino Perez called a press conference on Thursday and insisted: "Ancelotti will continue", after Marca claimed the Italian would be sacked if Madrid were beaten heavily in El Clasico next weekend.

    And now, the focus seems to have switched to our man Gareth instead.

  63. "Pressure cooker"

    Real Madrid v Levante (20:00 GMT)

    Out of the Copa del Rey, through by the skin of their teeth to the Champions League quarter-finals, and hauled off top spot in La Liga by Barcelona. The beginning of 2015 just isn't going to plan for Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid.

    Tonight, with Barca having gone four points clear with a 2-0 win at Eibar yesterday, the Santiago Bernabeu is transformed into "a pressure cooker".

    Marca

    That's how Marca are billing it. On their front page today, the Spanish sports daily predicts Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric will be given a starting place ahead of next week's meeting with Barcelona, and that Gareth Bale faces "a new test in front of the Real fans".