Real Madrid 3-0 Levante: Cristiano Ronaldo becomes Real's all-time top scorer
Last Updated: 17/10/15 10:10pm
Cristiano Ronaldo became Real Madrid's all-time top scorer as Rafael Benitez's side saw off Levante 3-0 on Saturday.
The prolific forward hit his 324th goal in 310 games in the white of Madrid just three minutes after Marcelo had given the hosts the lead midway through the first half, moving ahead of Raul as the club's leading marksman.
Although Levante had made a positive start to the game, Ronaldo's strike gave Madrid a comfortable lead going into half-time, and substitute Jese rounded off the win late on with a terrific individual goal to take Los Blancos to the summit of La Liga - two points clear of Villarreal, who face Celta Vigo on Sunday.
The international break proved costly to the capital club, who lost Luka Modric and Karim Benzema to injury, while Sergio Ramos failed a fitness test. On the plus side for Real, who play Paris St Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday, Danilo returned after more than a month out to take the place of Dani Carvajal at right-back.
Madrid had drawn their last two matches, against Malaga and Atletico Madrid, and Levante sensed an opportunity for an upset here and made a bold start, pressing their opponents high up the pitch and trying to force quick counter-attacks.
With less than five minutes gone they had their first sight at goal through young striker Roger Marti, but former Levante goalkeeper Keylor Navas was alert and beat the shot away.
Ronaldo was denied a penalty several minutes later after clashing with Simao Mate. The Portuguese went into the game tied on goals with Raul, who announced his retirement from football earlier this week.
The Bernabeu faithful paid tribute to the Spaniard by unfurling a banner and chanting the striker's name, although Ronaldo needed just half an hour to overtake him as Madrid's top scorer. But first he set up his team's opener.
Levante had squandered a golden chance to take a shock lead as striker Deyverson Silva failed to control a ball to his feet in the area, allowing Navas to gather. Madrid went down the other end but their attack fell apart, only for Levante to gift them another opening.
Marcelo dispossessed Jose Luis Morales in the final third and then played a one-two with Ronaldo, receiving the ball again inside the area and smashing in at the near post.
Levante almost responded immediately, Deyverson heading a crossed ball low at goal, but Navas reacted superbly to claw the ball away and deny his former club an equaliser.
And a couple of minutes later the visitors shot themselves in the foot again, giving away possession in their own half. Toni Kroos mopped up the loose ball and squared to Ronaldo, who took a couple of touches before hammering home from 22 yards, scoring a first league goal in 399 minutes and finally becoming Madrid's undisputed top marksman.
Gareth Bale was taken off at half-time for Lucas Vazquez, but it was another substitute that killed off the game and added a shine to a far from convincing performance from Madrid.
Levante continued to cause danger in the second half but a goal still eluded them, and with eight minutes remaining Jese put the game out of sight.
The forward controlled the ball in the area and danced past Simao with a lightning quick step-over before slamming the ball in at the near post and scoring his first goal of the season.