Skip to main content

Cristiano Ronaldo fires Real Madrid to La Liga summit

updated 8:31 AM EDT, Mon March 10, 2014
Cristiano Ronaldo raises his arms in triumph after scoring the opener for Real Madrid against Levante.
Cristiano Ronaldo raises his arms in triumph after scoring the opener for Real Madrid against Levante.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Real Madrid beat Levante 3-0 in La Liga
  • Los Blancos three points clear at the top
  • Cristiano Ronaldo scored the opener in Bernabeu
  • Juventus maintain big lead in Serie A

(CNN) -- Real Madrid duly took advantage of Barcelona's latest slip-up to return to the top of La Liga after a routine 3-0 win over Levante in the Bernabeu Sunday.

The mid-table visitors ended the match with 10 men after David Navarro was sent off in the second half for a foul on Cristiano Ronaldo, but they were well beaten even before he saw red.

Ronaldo had put Real ahead after 11 minutes before defender Marcelo put the home side two up just after halftime.

An own goal from Nikos Karabelas completed Levante's miserable evening.

Cristiano Ronaldo: A star like no other
Cristiano Ronaldo wins 2013 Ballon d'Or
Julio Iglesias' favorite duets
Gareth Bale meets Real Madrid fans

The victory put Carlo Ancelotti's men three points clear of city rivals Atletico.

Defending champions Barca lost 1-0 to struggling Valladolid Saturday and trail by four in third place, making this month's El Clasico clash with Real all the more important.

Real have not lost since a 2-1 league reverse to Barcelona in October as their goalscoring trio of Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale have found the net on a regular basis.

Ronaldo showed his heading qualities by rising to meet Angel di Maria's corner to put Real ahead before Benzema hit the post.

Read: Real face Barca in Copa del Rey final

Marcelo's superlative curling effort on 49 minutes all but settled the affair before Navarro, who was once banned for seven months after a notorious Champions League brawl when playing for Valencia, got his marching orders for the seventh time in his career.

Marcelo also had a hand in the final goal as Karabelas turned the defender's cross into his own goal and there was just time for Ronaldo to thump the woodwork as he sought a second.

Read: Record Champions League win for Real

Ancelotti was delighted as his team continued to mount a strong challenge on all fronts. "We had the same intensity and concentration in the last few games," he told Real's official website.

"We played well from the first minute til the last; very efficient and with security at the back. The match was very good," he added.

In Italy, Juventus have one hand on the Serie A title again after a 1-0 win over Fiorentina -- their 14th straight home league win.

Ghana's Kwadwo Asamoah struck a stunning winner just before the break, finding space before sending a rocket shot into the top corner.

Read: Juve end Roma's winning run

It was reward for Juve's dominance against opponents they will meet again in the Europa League last 16.

Fiorentina might have leveled after the interval as substitute Ryder Matos headed against the crossbar from close range, but Juventus were deserved winners.

It left them 14 points clear of Roma, who lost 1-0 to third-placed Napoli in the late kickoff, with former Real Madrid forward Jose Callejon heading in a late winner.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
updated 2:58 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
updated 12:49 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
updated 6:12 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
updated 10:35 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
updated 7:03 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
updated 8:29 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
updated 12:56 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
updated 2:28 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
ADVERTISEMENT