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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

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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.

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.

Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

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

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.

Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

Three minutes added on.

Three for Gareth Bale to find a third.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

SUBSTITUTION

Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

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

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.

Join the debate at #bbceurofooty

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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?!

Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

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

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?

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.

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Real Madrid 2-0 Levante

Back under way at Santiago Bernabeu.

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.

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.

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

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,

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.