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Real Madrid are now three points clear at the top of the table in Spain after cruising past Levante 3-0 at the Bernabeu on Sunday.
With Barcelona surprisingly losing at Valladolid 24 hours earlier, the door was open for Madrid to take advantage, which they fully did.
Cristiano Ronaldo, with his 24th league goal of the season, headed the opener after just 11 minutes, and then set up Marcelo to double the lead four minutes into the second half.
The visitors were harshly penalised when David Navarro was red-carded for bringing down Ronaldo on 64 minutes, and the Valencia side’s fate was well and truly sealed when Nikos Karampelas put through his won goal with just nine minutes remaining.
Real now have 67 points, three ahead of city rivals Atletico, while Barcelona have dropped down to third on 63 points.
Barca, who entertain Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday, travel to Real for the La Liga ‘El Clasico’ game in two weeks time, for a match that will surely play a big part in deciding the destination of the title.
As for Real’s vanquished opponents Levante, they will have a job on to persuade goalkeeper Keylor Navas to sign a new contract, with Sunday’s man-of-the-match being courted by a host of big clubs. He alone stopped Real Madrid from doubling their score at the very least on Sunday, and it is not hard to see why Levante are trying to renew his contract.