| Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos (centre) vies with Levante’s Gustavo Enrique Reggi and Manuel Gaspar Haro at the Bernabeu on Sunday. (AP)
Madrid: Real Madrid’s scoring problems returned to haunt them as they lost 0-1 at home to struggling Levante in the Primera Liga on Sunday. Leaders Barcelona and second-placed Sevilla failed to take full advantage, though, as they only managed goalless draws.
Barcelona were held at Osasuna in a tight match significant for the return from injury after four months out of Samuel Eto’. The Cameroon striker came on for the last five minutes, but failed to cap a dream return with a goal. Barcelona stay top with 43 points, one ahead of Sevilla who were unable to find a way past lowly Real Sociedad.
Valencia are third with 39 points after beating Atletico Madrid 3-1 on Saturday with two goals from Fernando Morientes.
Atletico are fifth on 36 points with Real Zaragoza a point back in sixth after Sergio Garcia’s double sank Espanyol 2-1.
Having sold Ronaldo to AC Milan during the week all eyes were on how Real Madrid would respond but they never recovered after Salva Ballesta’s 11th-minute penalty for Levante.
Real have scored just three times in their last eight games in all competitions, and remain fourth with 38 points.
There was again no place in the squad for David Beckham and when asked about him after the match Capello said: “He has been here three years and results haven’t been good. We are trying a new line up and waiting for important players to return.”
Real have now lost four of their last six league games.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Recreativo Huelva overcame visiting Villarreal 2-1 with goals from Juanma and Florent Sinama Pongolle, to go seventh on 33 points.
Meanwhile, Manchester United rattled in three goals in 10 minutes either side of halftime to set up a 4-0 victory at Tottenham Hotspur and restore their six-point lead over Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday.
A Cristiano Ronaldo penalty at the end of the first half, goals by Nemanja Vidic and Paul Scholes soon after and a 77th minute Ryan Giggs effort completed a comfortable win.
The victory takes United to 63 points, six clear of Chelsea, who won 1-0 at Charlton Athletic on Saturday. Liverpool are third on 50 after they were held to a goalless home draw by Everton with Arsenal fourth on 46 following their 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough.
Tottenham, who have not beaten United home or away for 12 games and have now lost six in a row against them at home, remain 11th on 33 points. United struggled to make any inroads in a low-key first half but got the breakthrough in the 45th minute.
Ronaldo went down under a challenge from Steed Malbranque and though the French midfielder claimed innocence, the referee awarded the penalty. Ronaldo took it and scored confidently for his 10th goal in the last 10 league games. United doubled the lead three minutes after the restart when Vidic made a determined run to meet a corner by former Spurs midfielder Michael Carrick and scored with a firm glancing header.
Six minutes later Ronaldo moved effortlessly past Lee Young-pyo to hit the byline before crossing low for the impressive Scholes to bundle the ball in from point-blank range.
Tottenham were shell-shocked but did manage a couple of half-chances that both fell to Dimitar Berbatov. The Bulgarian hit the first straight at Edwin van der Sar and headed the second over the bar. United then raced to the other end and substitute Louis Saha fed Giggs, who beat the offside trap and fired home the fourth. (Agencies)