Real Madrid wins again with helping hand from Courtois

Goals from Vinicius Jr. and Karim Benzema plus some top class saves from Thibaut Courtois gave Real Madrid a third consecutive victory this La Liga season.

Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior celebrates after scoring a goal against Levante.   -  Reuters Photo

Goals from Vinicius Jr. and Karim Benzema plus some top class saves from Thibaut Courtois gave Real Madrid a 2-0 win at Levante on Sunday for a third consecutive La Liga victory.

Brazilian forward Vinicius, Madrid's match-winner in Wednesday's 1-0 win over Real Valladolid, also gave his side the lead at Levante, controlling a loose ball inside the area and taking his time to curl into the far corner in the 16th minute.

Real missed chances to extend its lead but in the end had to rely on another exceptional performance from goalkeeper Courtois to see out the victory, before Benzema added the second goal deep in added time on the break.

The win took the champions top of the standings with 10 points after four games, despite starting the season later than many of its rivals.

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“It's normal for us all to be struggling a bit in the second half so early in the season, it was very hot out there and Levante are a very good team who know how to play well,” said Vinicius.

“We are still lacking a bit of sharpness but after the international break I think we're going to come back much stronger.”

Levante struggled to cope with Madrid for much of the first half but nearly responded to Vinicius' opener when Nikola Vukcevic headed against the bar after half an hour.

Madrid should have put the game out of Levante's reach in a blistering start to the second period in which Benzema fired against the post and Vinicius danced past two defenders only to miss the target from close range.

Captain Sergio Ramos looked to have found the all-important second goal when he headed home from a free kick but the effort was ruled out for offside following a VAR review and Madrid ended up riding its luck to cling to its advantage.

Courtois made himself big and thwarted a shot from Carlos Clerc with his legs, after making three saves to deny Enis Bardhi.

Time was almost up when Benzema skipped through on goal unchallenged and smashed high into the net to make sure of the victory.

Zidane happy enough after another win

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said he could ask for nothing more from his side after they recorded a third consecutive La Liga win.

“We can be very proud of what the boys have done, we've only just started and we have three wins and one draw, what more could I ask for?,” Zidane told reporters.

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“We had a lot of chances in the second half and they had theirs too, but that's normal because we wanted to press them high up the pitch and they created two or three big opportunities because of that.

“I'd have liked to have score the second goal before we did, if we'd done that it would have changed the game.”

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