La Liga

Madrid makes easy work of Levante

Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo
Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring vs. Levante as the Estadio Bernabeu.
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Take a stroll through CR7's career defining-moments.

Cristiano Ronaldo went on as a substitute to seal Real Madrid's 5-1 win over Levante as it maintained its dominant form on Saturday ahead of its Champions League quarterfinal at Galatasaray.

Madrid's lopsided victory reduced Barcelona's lead in the Spanish league to 10 points before the Catalan side hosted Mallorca later without the injured Lionel Messi.

Levante's Miguel ''Michel'' Alfonso launched and polished off a counterattack to put the visitors ahead in the 31st.

But Gonzalo Higuain's exquisite volley of Xabi Alonso's pass pulled Madrid level five minutes later, and Kaka grabbed the lead in the 39th with a spot kick after Christian Lell handled in the area.

Ronaldo went on at halftime after resting up for Tuesday's game at Galatasaray where his team will look to protect its 3-0 cushion to reach the semifinals. Mesut Oezil and Angel Di Maria soon followed.

Levante coach Juan Ignacio Martinez also made three substitutions to refresh his attack, but the plan backfired as his defense finally crumbled under Madrid's pressure and turned a dignified loss into a humbling rout.

Ronaldo was left unmarked in the heart of the area in the 84th to receive a pass from Higuain and fire home his 29th league goal. Oezil was likewise unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box to push in short passes from Ronaldo in the 87th and Di Maria in stoppage time.

Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas watched from the dugout after being included in Madrid's squad for the first time since breaking his hand in January. Coach Jose Mourinho has said that Diego Lopez is his first-choice `keeper.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took the honorary kickoff at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Sociedad's win extended its league-best run to 20 straight games with only one loss, and increased the gap over Malaga to four points with eight games to go.

''We are satisfied, we showed fine finishing touch today,'' said Sociedad coach Philippe Montanier. ''We put in four goals, although it was a strange game. We didn't generate many scoring chances but we proved to be very efficient with the ones we had.''


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Carlos Vela opened for Sociedad with his 13th goal this season in the 21st minute. Alberto de la Bella blasted in a long strike three minutes later, and Antoine Griezmann made it 3-0 in the 30th.

Pedro Morales scored for the visitors in the 43rd. Inigo Martinez headed in Sociedad's fourth in the 51st, before Roque Santa Cruz struck for Malaga in the 70th.

Malaga visits Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday with their Champions League quarterfinal poised at 0-0.

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