Real Madrid 3 -2 Levante: Hazard makes debut as Benzema double secures nervy wi

Karim Benzema scored twice in Real Madrid's 3-2 win over Levante as Eden Hazard made his long-awaited debut.

Eden Hazard made his Real Madrid debut as they claimed a nervy 3-2 victory over Levante in LaLiga thanks to two goals from Karim Benzema.

A brace from Benzema, plus a goal from Casemiro, ensured Madrid were firmly in control when 3-0 ahead at the break before a second-half fightback from the visitors.

Borja Mayoral, on loan at Levante from Madrid, pulled a goal back and the home team conceded again when Gonzalo Melero headed in from a corner, with Thibaut Courtois preserving their lead with a fine save in the closing minutes.

Hazard, who joined from Chelsea, was given a warm welcome when introduced on the hour, the Belgium forward having missed his new club's opening three games of the season with a muscle injury.

Madrid dominated the first half and their pressure and intensity was rewarded with a three-goal cushion at the interval.

James Rodriguez caused problems for Levante – unbeaten on their previous two visits to the Bernabeu – with the Colombian's clever pass finding Lucas Vazquez, who sent Dani Carvajal scampering free on the right.

Carvajal's high cross was met by Benzema who stole space in front of his marker and glanced a header past Levante goalkeeper Aitor Fernandez.

James was influential again five minutes later when he played a deft pass into the penalty area for Benzema, who clinically dispatched his second.

However, the pick of Madrid's goals came on the stroke of half-time, a sweeping team move culminating in Vinicius Junior's low cross for Casemiro to tap home from close range.

Mayoral refused to celebrate against his parent club when he netted four minutes after the interval, the forward sweeping the ball home following good work by Carlos Clerc. 

Benzema struck the base of the post but Madrid's defence were left hanging on for the final 15 minutes when a well-worked corner allowed substitute Melero to head in at the back post.

Madrid survive second-half scare

Zinedine Zidane's side secured their first home win of the season after a stylish first half full of free-flowing football, but Levante gave them a real fright.

The result means Madrid remain in the chasing pack behind city rivals Atletico Madrid. Levante, meanwhile, leave with their heads held high, albeit no points to show for their efforts.



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