Real Madrid ensured they will be within grasp of league leaders and mortal rivals FC Barcelona after a commanding 2-0 win against Levante. The win for Real Madrid means that next weekend’s clash with Barcelona means that victory for either team would leave them at the top of the La Liga table with just ten games to go.
Gareth Bale proved to be the decisive player, bagging a brace in the first half. Gareth Bale has been heavily criticized since the start of the new year. However, the Welsh star has staked his claim to be included in the decisive El Clasico at the Nou Camp on Sunday.
Despite the victory, headlines leading up to next week’s meeting will most likely be focused on Portuguese international Cristiano Ronaldo. The Real Madrid forward was left frustrated after wasting numerous of chances and despite Bale registering his first goal for Real Madrid in 829 minutes.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s reaction to Bale’s goal may prove an unwelcomed distraction, with the Portuguese apparently sulking after his bicycle kick shot was cleared off the line then finished off by Bale.
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) March 15, 2015
Cristiano’s last 54 free kicks (club and country) 22 into wall (41%) 18 on goal (33%) 13 off frame (24%) 01 woodwork (2%) And ZERO goals…
— MisterChip (English) (@MisterChiping) March 15, 2015
Bale’s second could have easily been credited to Ronaldo. However, replay shows that his shot may well have ended up going wide if not for the deflection off Gareth Bale. The decline in Ronaldo’s form has come at a time where Lionel Messi can do no wrong, with the pair preparing to go up against each other yet again.
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti will be relieved with the win against Levante, after speculation surrounding his job at the Bernabeu. Although having a reputation for sacking managers, the Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez, has backed his manager despite the recent downturn in form.
“I want to state categorically that the club has full confidence in our coach and in our players and I want to say, contrary to a report published today, that whatever happens in the coming days and weeks Carlo Ancelotti will remain the coach of Real Madrid.”
With a win against Levante and a goal from Gareth Bale, Real Madrid head to the Nou Camp with hopes of knocking the league leaders of the top of the table, but the atmosphere around Madrid will still be tense, with Ronaldo yet again stealing the headlines for the wrong reasons.
[Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images]