Fri, Oct 28, 2011 - Page 19 News List

Real romp keeps pressure on devastating Levante

AFP, MADRID

A first-half exhibition of attacking play set Real Madrid up for a 3-0 win over Villarreal on Wednesday, but they still trail surprise leaders Levante, who earlier came from behind to beat Real Sociedad 3-2.

Real Madrid are in blistering form and have now scored 28 goals in their last seven games in all competitions, an average of four a match, but they are a point adrift of Levante.

Champions Barcelona are third at two points behind Levante.

Karim Benzema sent Real on their way with a clinical finish after just three minutes.

Kaka fired in the second minutes later against Villarreal, whose coach Juan Carlos Garrido is under pressure with the side having not won in seven games.

Angel Di Maria finished off a fine team move for the third after 30 minutes and with the game won, Real Madrid relaxed in the second half while Villarreal offered little threat.

A sensational injury-time winner against Sociedad kept Levante in pole position.

Ruben Suarez’s injury-time winner allowed Levante to retake top spot in La Liga off champions Barcelona.

The modest side from Valencia are sweeping all before them at the moment in a superb start to the season.

Sociedad went ahead after just three minutes when a poor clearance from the keeper fell to Daniel Estrada, who slotted the ball home.

It looked as though it was going to be Sociedad’s night as they then hit the post through Alberto De la Bella and had the better of the first half.

Levante came back strongly though after the break with goals from Nano Rivas and Valdo Lopes, but it appeared as though they would have to settle for a draw with Inigo Martinez equalising with three minutes to go.

However, four minutes into injury time, Suarez gave Levante a stunning victory with a free-kick from distance that went in off the post.

A Jordi Alba goal after 82 minutes gave Valencia a 1-0 win away at Real Zaragoza and was a welcome victory after a poor run of just one win in seven matches.

Malaga, though, failed to bounce back from their 4-0 thrashing by Real Madrid over the weekend as they lost 2-0 to Rayo Vallecano, while Getafe drew 2-2 at home to Osasuna.

On Tuesday, a Xavi Hernandez free-kick gave a lackluster Barcelona a 1-0 win over nine-man Granada 1-0, which extended their club record run to seven games without conceding a goal.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said that fatigue had been behind his side’s unusually ineffective display.

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