Real Madrid thrash Levante after dodgy start

Real Madrid thumped Levante 5-1 with a shadow XI last night.

Real Madrid thumped Levante 5-1 with a shadow XI last night.

Jose Mourinho made seven changes from the team that beat Galatasaray 3-0 to take control of their Champions League quarter-final in midweek.

But with star names Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil and Angel Di Maria initially watching on from the bench they fell behind - for the third successive Primera Division match - to Michel's 31st-minute strike.

The response was swift, however, as Gonzalo Higuain hooked in before a Kaka penalty sent Madrid ahead within eight minutes of falling behind.

Ronaldo was inserted at the break and killed the game off on 84 minutes before Ozil added two more to lift Madrid four points clear of third-placed city rivals Atletico.

Goalkeeper Iker Casillas made his return from a finger injury, suffered at Valencia on January 23, to sit on a star-studded substitutes' bench.

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