Bale's brace powers Real Madrid past Levante

Madrid, Spain ( - Gareth Bale netted a pair of first-half goals on Sunday, leading Real Madrid to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Levante at the Bernabeu.

After a nervy encounter with Bundesliga side Schalke in the Champions League on Tuesday, Carlo Ancelotti's side came into the match needing to put in a good performance to alleviate some fears of fading form.

Luckily for the Bernabeu faithful, Bale, who has taken some heat for poor performances in recent weeks, was up to the challenge as the former Tottenham man opened the scoring after 18 minutes.

Bale then completed his double five minutes before the intermission to double the advantage.

Real Madrid dominated proceedings in the second half, keeping almost 70 percent of possession and holding Levante without an attempt on target to ease to an important three points.

The victory pulls Real Madrid to within one point of leaders Barcelona, while Levante remains in the relegation zone with 25 points from 27 matches played.

Also in La Liga on Sunday, Carlos Bacca scored a pair of first-half goals and former Paris Saint-Germain man Kevin Gameiro added a third tally as Sevilla rolled to a 3-0 win over Elche at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

Juanmi and Nordin Amrabat found the back of the net, powering Malaga to a 2-0 win over Cordoba at the Estadio La Rosaleda, while Sunday's final fixture saw Almeria and Villarreal play to a scoreless draw at the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos.