Newly-crowned La Liga champions Real Madrid finally received the “guard of honour” that city rivals Atletico Madrid refused to give them last week. Instead, Levante applauded the champions as they entered the pitch at home at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Thursday. After that, they proceeded to show off exactly why they won the league title so comfortably this season.
Real Madrid rested several starters against Atletico Madrid last week, but they were mostly back on the pitch against Levante as Carlo Ancelotti attempts to get them back into the rhythm ahead of their UEFA Champions League final against Liverpool at the end of the month.
Los Blancos were a class act throughout, with the opening goal coming from an unusual place. Defender Ferland Mendy surged forward in the ninth minute and found himself with an opportunity to score, which he did not squander.
Fede Valverde made a dangerous attempt just a few moments later, but it was Karim Benzema who paired up with Vinicius Jr. to double the lead. The partnership between Benzema and Vinicius has proven to be instrumental in Real Madrid’s success this season, but so has the pairing of Luka Modric and Rodrygo Goes.
The young Brazilian has scored some crucial goals for the club this season, and mentor Modric was at the heart of most of them including their third goal against Levante on Thursday. The Croatian was feeling generous on the pitch, and provided Vini Jr. with another assist a few minutes later, taking Real Madrid 4-0 up by half-time.
After the break, it was the Vinicius show. He scored another two goals to complete his first hat-trick for Los Blancos. For his second goal of the night, Benzema returned the earlier favour by dancing past the goalkeeper to feed Vinicius the ball in front of a gaping goal. The Brazilian’s final goal of the night came off a pass from striker Luka Jovic, who selflessly passed the ball to Vini instead of taking the opportunity to score himself.
Levante will be relegated, and the body language of the players showed their devastation. Meanwhile, Real Madrid will use this to build confidence as they prepare for the Champions League final in Paris on May 28.