What should have been a comfortable win for Real Madrid turned into a rather nervy encounter, but they got the job done in the end. Benzema was the main man for the home side. Hazard was handed his debut, but certainly looks somewhat off the pace. He needs game time and patience.
- 2nd Half
- 1st Half
Real Madrid - Levante UD
Liga - 14 September 2019
Liga – Follow the Football match between Real Madrid and Levante UD live with Eurosport. The match starts at 12:00 on 14 September 2019. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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- End of 2nd Half
FULL TIME: Real Madrid 3-2 Levante
Into the side netting! That was an audacious attempt from Morales! He was played in behind, but rather than cutting it back he attempts to catch out Courtois at his near post. It's into the side netting.
Courtois saves! That's the first time that the Real Madrid goalkeeper has been called upon! Vezo got the final touch on the cross into the box, but Courtois made a diving save to deny him.
There is certainly still time for Levante to grab an equaliser here. They are on top and are pressing for a point. Real Madrid look very nervous. They are giving the ball away too easily.
There will be FIVE minutes of stoppage time played at the end of the match.
- Yellow cardCarlos ClercLevante UD
A late booking for Clerc, who has been one of Levante's most impressive players this afternoon.
Zidane will surely be very disappointed with how his team have allowed Levante back into this game in the second half. They should have cruised through the second half. They have not.
Real Madrid are looking to up the intensity of their play in these final few minutes. They know that they can't sit back and invite pressure on top of themselves. They're going for a fourth.
Jovic could do with a goal in these final six minutes. Questions have been asked about the Serbian and how he fits in at Real Madrid. A goal to clinch this win would silence his doubters.
- OffKarim BenzemaReal Madrid
- OnLuka JovicReal Madrid
Benzema comes off to a standing ovation. His performance was key for Real Madrid in the first half.
Real Madrid worked the chance! Vinicius stretched the pitch, played the pass back to Benzema who then passed to Kroos. The ball was shifted one more time, but James shoots over the target.
There's a real edginess around the Santiago Bernabeu now. What was looking like a statement of intent in the first half has now become an encounter which would still go either way.
- Yellow cardRúben VezoLevante UD
Vezo becomes the latest Levante player to enter the book after a late tackle on Hazard.
PICTURE: Benzema has faded in the second half.
The introduction of Bardhi has made a real difference for Levante. He is providing a link between the midfield and the attack. Real Madrid also look more vulnerable without Casemiro and Ramos.
- GoalGonzalo MeleroLevante UD
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Real Madrid 3 Levante 2 (76 mins - Gonzalo Melero). Wow. Levante are really mounting a fightback now! They have grabbed a second goal, with former Castilla player Melero heading home at the back post. All of a sudden this has turned into a nervy second half for Real Madrid! 15 minutes left to play.
It was somewhat surprising that Zidane didn't take off Varane for Militao, instead choosing to rest Ramos. Varane will have to play against PSG next week, while Ramos is suspended.
You can hear how much the Real Madrid supporters want Vinicius to succeed. They applaud even as the Brazilian dribbles the ball out of play when he really should have done better.
Fernandez denies Vinicius! The Brazilian youngster is desperate for a goal. He controlled a ball played over the top, he got the shot away, but the Levante goalkeeper rushed off his line to smother.
Real Madrid needed the introduction of Hazard to inject their performance with a bit more urgency. They slumped at the start of the second half and allowed Levante back into the match.
- OffÓscar DuarteLevante UD
- OnGonzalo MeleroLevante UD
... and the second quickfire change sees Melero come off the bench for the away side.
- OffRubén RochinaLevante UD
- OnRogerLevante UD
A double change for Levante coming up. Roger is the first of the two subs...
There were some questions during pre-season over Hazard's lack of fitness. Indeed, some even pondered whether the Belgian had put on weight. Now is the time for him to deliver.
That looked like a simple decision, James was clearly in an offside position when the first shot was made. These VAR delays are getting longer and longer in La Liga. Not good enough.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.... NO! It took a long, long time for the decision to come after the VAR review, but James was adjudged to be in an offside position and Vinicius' goal is chalked off. Man, that was a long delay.
- OffSergio RamosReal Madrid
- OnEder MilitaoReal Madrid
Militao also comes on for Real Madrid with Ramos given a rest for the final 30 minutes or so.
- OffNikola VukcevicLevante UD
- OnEnis BardhiLevante UD
It should also be noted that Levante made a change a few minutes ago, with Bardhi coming off the bench.
- OffCasemiroReal Madrid
- OnEden HazardReal Madrid
Hazard gets his debut! Injury delayed the start of his Real Madrid career, but the Belgian finally comes on for his debut for his new club. He will get the final 30 minutes of this match.
Hazard is coming on! There's a ripple of excitement and anticipation around the Santiago Bernabeu as Hazard emerges from the dugout in full strip. He's about to come on for his debut.
That was the hat trick! Inches away from being a third goal for Benzema! He curled a shot towards the target from 20 yards out, but the ball bounces off the base of the post. Fernandez was beaten!
PICTURE: When will Zidane made a change off the bench?
Real Madrid have switched off since the restart. They just need to be careful that they don't sleepwalk into a match here. Levante have upped their levels. They are having more joy.
Chance for Rochina! Real Madrid gave up the ball in a dangerous position on the edge of their own box, the pass was then made to Rochina, but his prodded finish flashes wide of the far post.
This has been better from Levante at the start of the second half. They are finding space to break into on the counter attack. They could feasibly score a second here which would make things really interesting!
Mayoral chose not to celebrate against his parent club, holding up his hands in apology to the home supporters inside the Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid starting to regret allowing loan players to play against them?
PICTURE: Benzema opened the scoring for Real Madrid.
I don't think anyone expects Levante to mount a comeback here, but they have given themselves a foothold in the match with that goal. They have something to fight for again.
- GoalBorja MayoralLevante UD
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Real Madrid 3 Levante 1 (49 mins - Borja Mayoral). Levante get a goal back to make things a little bit more interesting here at the start of the second half! The low cross was made by Clerc down the left side and Mayoral, on loan from Real Madrid, was there to finish into the back of the net.
Will Real Madrid keep their foot down on the pedal in this second half? Or with three goals already under their belts will they cruise through the rest of this match to an important three points?
- 2nd Half
The second half is under way! Real Madrid are 3-0 up on Levante in this La Liga fixture.
What did you make of the first half at the Santiago Bernabeu? Is there any way back for Levante from this? Is this the perfect opportunity for Zidane to give Hazard a debut? Tweet me!
- End of 1st Half
HALF TIME: Real Madrid 3-0 Levante. Goals from Benzema and Casemiro have just about put Real Madrid out of sight at half time. Will we see Hazard at some point in the second half?
Levante just haven't been able to cope with what Real Madrid have thrown at them so far. They made a decent enough start to the match, but since then the home side have been in control.
There will be two minutes of stoppage time played at the end of the first half.
What were the officials even checking? There was a delay of at least a minute after that goal as the VAR was reviewed, but I couldn't see where they thought there might be an incident.
This is the sort of performance Real Madrid needed after a less than impressive start to the season. They can't allow Atletico Madrid to stretch their lead at the top of La Liga any further.
- GoalCasemiroReal Madrid
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Real Madrid 3 (40 mins - Casemiro) Levante 0. It's a third goal for Real Madrid before the half time interval! Vinicius was released down the right side, Casemiro made the run into the middle and the two Brazilians combined to find the back of the net. This game is already done and dusted.
- Yellow cardLucas VázquezReal Madrid
Vazquez enters the book for some dissent. That looked a little harsh on the Real Madrid winger.
The rain is still pouring in the Spanish capital. Zidane tried to rough it out in his suit out on the touchline for the opening 20 minutes, but the Real Madrid boss has now reached for a jacket.
There's a wry smile on Benzema's face as he slots through a pass for Vinicius. The Frenchman handled the ball. That was a decent opportunity for Real Madrid. Chance gone.
Marcelo is down at the moment and seems to be holding his throat. Zidane has sent Mendy to go warm up just in case a change is needed, but Marcelo looks like he will continue.
ICYMI... this was the opener.
This has been a much better performance from Real Madrid. This match had the potential to be a tricky one, but Benzema, Carvajal and James have brought their A game today.
Benzema is the man who has made the difference for Real Madrid in terms of the scoreline, but James has played well in this first half. He certainly still has something to offer.
- GoalKarim BenzemaReal Madrid
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Real Madrid 2 (31 mins - Karim Benzema) Levante 0. It's a second goal for Real Madrid and a second goal for Benzema! Rochina gave up the ball in a dangerous position, James slotted the pass through to the Frenchman and he had no trouble in slotting the finish past the stranded Fernandez. The hosts are now cruising.
- Yellow cardCasemiroReal Madrid
Casemiro becomes the first player to be shown a yellow card. That's the second late tackle from the Brazilian.
The intensity has been upped by Real Madrid in the last 10 minutes or so. Levante look somewhat overwhelmed by what they are facing. The home side look likely to score another before half time.
Carvajal has struggled to get going over the early part of the season, but the right back has been a standout for Real Madrid this afternoon. His cross for the Benzema goal was fantastic.
Real Madrid had been turning the screw on Levante and so you got the feeling that an opening goal was coming. And it was unsurprising that Benzema was the one who got it.
- GoalKarim BenzemaReal Madrid
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Real Madrid 1 (25 mins - Karim Benzema) Levante 0. That goal had been coming! Real Madrid have the lead after 25 minutes. Carvajal delivered a left-footed cross into the box, the delivery was excellent and Benzema drifted between two Levante defenders to guide a header into the back of the net!
Off the post! Real Madrid have now struck the woodwork! The angle was tight for Vazquez, he cut across the ball, but Fernandez was still required to tip the shot on to his near post. Real Madrid turning the screw.
BENZEMA... saved! That's the closest we have come to an opener. The French striker got a curling shot away on goal, it was heading for the top corner of the net, but Fernandez stuck up a hand to make the save!
James went down under the challenge of Clerc inside the box as he attempted to get on the end of a looping cross, but the referee and the officials didn't see enough for a penalty kick.
Just over 20 minutes played and already there are some noises of discontent from the Madridistas inside the Santiago Bernabeu. The frustration is starting to build. Still no breakthrough.
This has so often been the problem for Zidane's Real Madrid since he returned to the club last season - they see plenty of the ball, but struggle to break down deep-lying opponents.
Kroos' shot is saved! That was very nearly a controversial moment. Some of the Levante players stopped because there was a second ball on the pitch. But the referee allows Kroos to get the shot away. His first is saved, his second is lifted over.
PICTURE: Kroos had a shot on goal a few minutes ago.
Real Madrid have dominated possession, as you might expect, but it's Levante who look most dangerous when they have the ball. They move so quickly through the lines of transition.
Kroos takes aim! The pass was played back to the German midfielder, he decides to take on the strike himself, but he cuts across the ball a little too much and the ball flashes well wide.
Levante are playing with a back five when they are out of possession and that is making it difficult for Real Madrid to break them down. The home side are struggling to create opportunities.
Injuries have hindered Real Madrid in their opening few games of the season. This means the likes of Bale and James have been given a second chance by Zidane. James starts today.
Bale is one of the few Real Madrid players to have enjoyed a good start to the season, but the Welsh winger is missing today after picking up two yellow cards in the defeat to Villarreal.
Varane was required to make the clearance at the near post. Morales burst forward at pace and got to the byline. His cross was a dangerous one, but the clearance was made by the Frenchman.
Of course, it should be mentioned that Mayoral is on loan from Real Madrid. They have stopped putting 'fear clauses' in the contracts of their loan players and so he can play against his parent club today.
Just wide! That was close to an opener for the away side! Rochina swung the freekick into the box, the ball seemed to bounce off Mayoral and Courtois watched it flash past his near post.
The rain in Spain...
Vinicius has kept his place in the Real Madrid team for this game. The Brazilian made a massive impact last season, but has struggled to replicate that form in the early stages of this season.
The rain started in the Spanish capital just minutes before kick off. This is now making the pitch at the Santiago Bernabeu very slick. Could be a factor on the match we're served up.
Shot on target! That's the first sight of goal for Real Madrid. Benzema shuffled the ball on to his left foot on the edge of the box, his strike was a powerful one, but Fernandez got down to make the save.
It's Levante who make a strong start to the match with Campana playing the pass out to Clerc down the left side. He gets the low cross into the box, but Ramos was on hand to thump clear.
- 1st Half
The match is under way! It's Real Madrid against Levante in this Spanish Liga fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu!
Okay, here we go. Just about to get started in the Spanish capital. Kick off is just moments away.
It's a pleasant afternoon in the Spanish capital. Let's get back to some real football after the international break, shall we?
Not long until kick off at the Santiago Bernabeu. Make no mistake, Real Madrid have to win this one given their poor early season form.
Real Madrid have won just one of their opening three La Liga fixtures this season. The pressure is already on Zidane and his players to deliver. They need three points this afternoon.
I'm Graham Ruthven and you can catch me on Twitter ahead of the match to let me know your thoughts. Can Levante cause a shock? Will Real Madrid now find some form after a tough start? Tweet me!
Hazard on the bench! The Belgian has yet to make his competitive debut for Real Madrid after picking up an injury, but he's on the bench for the first time this afternoon. He'll surely come on at some point!
TEAM NEWS: Real Madrid - Courtois, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Casemiro, Vazquez, James, Kroos, Vinicius, Benzema. /// Levante - Fernandez, Jorge, Vezo, Duarte, Postigo, Clerc, Rochina, Vukcevic, Campana, Morales, Mayoral.
Good morning and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Liga fixture between Real Madrid and Levante. We'll bring you all the action as it happens at the Santiago Bernabeu. Kick off is at 12:00 GMT.