Real Madrid 3-0 Levante : Five Talking Points

Published 10/17/2015, 12:49 PM EDT


Real Madrid went to the top of the table, temporarily though, with a 3-0 victory over a struggling Levante side. Levante started as the better team as they dominated with chances in the first 10 minutes. But Real Madrid started to come into the game after that, and Marcelo broke the deadlock in the 27th minute with a fine left-foot finish after he exchanged a delightful one-two with Ronaldo.

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Then some more wonderful work from Real Madrid on the counter saw Ronaldo score a blinder from outside the box. Jese Rodriguez scored the third goal for Madrid with a wonderful left-foot near post finish. Real Madrid are now top of the table, two points clear of Villarreal, but have played a game more than their opponents.  Here we look at the five hottest talking points from the match.

There was much speculation about Ronaldo’s playing position before the start of the season. Many people thought that Benitez will play Ronaldo as an out-and-out striker. Ronaldo continued to play on his favoured wing position. But against Levante, with Benzema injured, Ronaldo started in the no. 9 position for the first time. He had a good game, but switched to the left wing position once Jese Rodriguez was introduced by Rafael Benitez in the second half for some time. But Ronaldo was soon deployed back in the striker’s role as Jese switched over to the wing.

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The captain of Real Madrid for the night, Marcelo had a very good game for the Blancos. Levante looked the better of the two sides in the early stages of the match, when Marcelo snatched possession, exchanged a one-two with Ronaldo before putting the ball into the net with a cracking finish. Marcelo inspired them into action, as his wonderful defending as well as sound attacking presence helped Real Madrid defeat a stubborn Levante side.

For someone like Cristiano Ronaldo, it is very unusual to see him not score in a match. But to go without scoring in four consecutive league games is an awfully bad goal drought for anyone, let alone the Portuguese superstar. Ronaldo didn’t score for four matches in the league, but he ended the drought in some style. Levante lost possession in their own half, and Madrid hit them hard on the counter-attack. Ronaldo received the ball towards the left outside the box. The 30-year-old brilliantly curled the ball into the bottom corner of the net from outside the box.

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Keylor Navas is in the best form of his life. He enjoyed yet another clean sheet in the game against Levante. His save when Real Madrid were leading 1-0 was instrumental in his side’s victory. Keylor Navas has taken over the no. 1 jersey from Casillas and has filled in the big shoes quite well. His penalty saves against Atletico and Sporting were crucial for Real Madrid to get any points from the respective matches. And yet again he was at his very best and denied the Levante players a several times to keep another clean sheet – his 6th in 8 matches.

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Real Madrid boss Rafael Benitez clearly had the fact in mind that his side will be playing Paris St. Germain in the Champions League in five days. He didn’t risk Benzema, Carvajal, Ramos and Pepe, rested Modric and replaced Gareth Bale at half-time in order to keep the important players fresh for the mid-week game.

 

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Paritosh Gautam

121 articles

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