Sunday October 16, 2011 (17.00 UK)
Barkero 14, Juanlu 50, Arouna Kone 41
Willy Caballero sent off 27
Ciutat de Valencia, Valencia
Sunday evening saw Levante retain their place at the dizzy heights of second in La Liga after a straight-forward victory over Malaga.
The hosts took the lead just shy of the 15 minute mark as Juanfran cut the ball back from the by-line allowing Jose Barkero to get a shot away, and although Enzo Maresca attempted to block the shot, the ball ended up finding its way past Willy Caballero thanks to a deflection off the former Sevilla man.
Soon after going behind, the visitors took control of the ball, but couldn’t find a way through Levante’s stubborn backline and soon fell two goals behind.
Caballero rushed out of his goal to clear a long-ball, but saw himself given a straight red card for what was a perceived handball outside the area, however replays suggested the Peruvian shot-stopper was unlucky, but Levante made them pay nonetheless with Barkero’s free-kick going in off Juanfran.
With halftime approaching, Juan Ignacio Martinez’ men wrapped up the three points as Arouna Kone beat substitute goalkeeper Ruben to another long-ball before tapping into an empty net grabbing his second league goal of the season.
With about 15 minutes to go, Levante should have added the icing on the cake with a fourth as Ruben Suarez blasted over from Valdo’s cut-back when just a matter of yards out, but the three goal margin was still more than enough as Levante move a point clear of Real Madrid and into second, behind Barcelona on goal difference.
Levante (4-2-3-1): Munua; Javi Venta, Ballesteros, Nano, Juanfran; Iborra (Pallardo 79), Farinos; Valdo, Barkero (Ruben Suarez 70), Juanlu (El Zhar 66); Kone
Unused subs: Navas, Del Horno, Pedro Lopez, Aranda
Malaga (4-2-3-1):Caballero; Jesus Gamez, Demichelis, Mathijsen, Monreal; Toulalan, Maresca (Ruben 29); Cazorla (Seba Fernandez 45), Joaquin, Isco; van Nistelrooy (Rondon 45)
Unused subs: Camacho, Eliseu, Buonanotte, Sergio Sanchez
Did you know…Levante have won their last five La Liga matches and they remain unbeaten in seven so far this season.