Mourinho welcomes widening lead
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho acknowledges his side now have some room for error in their La Liga title bid but has warned there is still a long way to go before they can start celebrating. Madrid extended their lead over second-placed Barcelona to ten points this weekend after capitalising on the Catalan club's 3-2 defeat to Osasuna on Saturday with a 4-2 triumph over Levante last night.
With 16 games left in the season Madrid will feel increasingly confident about ending Barca's three-year reign as Spanish champions, although Mourinho knows there is still plenty left to play for. He said: "There are a lot of points and a lot of games left. Every game is difficult to win and it will get increasingly hard because from now there is so much at stake for everyone.
"Those who don't want to be relegated and those who want to get into Europe will give it everything. We need 39 points, which translates into 13 victories, and that is still a lot. Ten points are ten points and that gives you some margin for error. If you lose a game it's not decisive. (But) every game is difficult. It was here, as it was in Getafe and against Zaragoza as well."
For the third successive league game at the Bernabeu, Madrid found themselves trailing early on against fourth-placed Levante. However, Madrid got back on track just before half-time when Cristiano Ronaldo slotted home from the penalty spot after Levante's Vicente Iborra had handled in the area - earning the offender a second yellow card and reducing the visitors to ten men in the process.
Ronaldo then completed a sixth hat-trick of the season with two more goals at the start of the second half to put the hosts 3-1 up. Levante pulled a goal back through Arouna Kone before Madrid striker Karim Benzema completed the scoring in the 66th minute.
Mourinho added: "Levante were very well organised tactically. We have to continue winning games because championships are won only when the maths say so."