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16.09.2014 » Real Madrid 5-1 Basel. The champions begin their title defence

Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo celebrating Real Madrid goal

It's been another memorable European night at the Santiago Bernabéu, as Real Madrid easily ran over Basel by 5-1 in the opening round of this season's UEFA Champions League. Cristiano Ronaldo scored his side's third goal still inside the first 45 minutes and is now only 3 goals behind Raúl's all-time record of 71 goals in this major European competition.

Following a tough week where the Merengues had to digest a painful home loss against their city rivals Atletico Madrid, nothing better than returning to the Santiago Bernabéu and presenting the fans with a convincing win in a Champions League night. Real Madrid decimated Basel 5-1 this Tuesday evening, in a game where the victory started getting shape still very early in the encounter. Four of Real Madrid's five goals arrived before the half-time break, first through an opponent's own goal, which was then followed by Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodríguez successful finishes. Karim Benzema would complete the count close to the end of the game through an unstoppable left-foot strike, allowing the Merengues to take an important step in order to redeem in front of their own fans. In the meanwhile, the UEFA Champions League action continues this Wednesday night, with the spotlight now turning to a Bayern Munich vs Manchester City at the Allianz Arena, a Barcelona vs APOEL Nicosia at the Camp Nou and a Chelsea vs Schalke 04 in Stamford Bridge.

Cristiano Ronaldo game photos in Real Madrid vs Basel
Real Madrid 5-1 Basel
- Goals and highlights:

All Cristiano Ronaldo actions vs Basel:

 

For the first time since the end of last season (including this year's pre-season friendlies), Real Madrid managed to score more than 2 goals in the 90 minutes of a football match. Carlo Ancelotti decided to only make a couple of changes to the side that had faced Atletico Madrid last Saturday, changing the two full-backs in his defensive line, in a clear attempt to restore the organization and focus to his defense...

Real Madrid lined up with Iker Casillas in goal, Nacho on the right, Marcelo on the left and Pepe next to Sergio Ramos in the center. In midfield, Ancelotti sticked with Luka Modric pairing up Toni Kroos in a sort of a double-pivot, which necessarily granted James Rodríguez a more free role in front of them. Nothing new upfront either, as Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo took the wings and the Frenchman Karim Benzema was deployed in his usual centre forward position.

It took close to 14 minutes for Real Madrid to draw the first blood in the Bernabéu and it ended up happening through an unfortunate deflection from a Basel player. James Rodríguez released some of his magic when he passed the ball to Nacho with a backheel touch and the 24-year old basically didn't lose any time and immediately crossed it to the middle. His pass got deflected in Marek Suchy's chest, which eventually made the ball take a straight course to the near post, beating Vaclik for the first time on the night.

The second goal arrived from the feet of Gareth Bale, in a well designed attacking play where a good part of the credit must be splitted with Luka Modric. The Croatia international found Bale escaping Basel's last line of defense and with a splendid pass using the outside part of his boot, he set up his teammate with a 1-on-1 scoring chance against Basel's goalkeeper. The Welshman lobbed the ball over Vaclik and without slowing down his run, he picked it up a few meters ahead just to push it forward into the back of the net.

Gareth Bale in action in Real Madrid vs Basel

Less than a minute later, the Merengues reached their third goal and this time it would be Cristiano Ronaldo adding his name to the scoresheet. The hosts were finally starting to show the intensity and attacking mindset that Ancelotti has been asking for since the beginning of the season and this goal was a prime example of that. Modric sent the ball over to Gareth Bale on the right and the 25-year old made use of his speed and verticality to immediately beat his direct opponent and cross the ball to the far post. Waiting for his pass was Ronaldo, who made sure to be in the right place at the right time, scoring his 68th career goal in the UEFA Champions League. With tonight's goal, CR7 leaves his Barcelona's rival Lionel Messi behind with 67 and is now aiming for Raúl's 71-goal record.

In the 36th minute of the first half, Real Madrid added a fourth to their tallly, in a play where everything just looked way too easy to accomplish. Cristiano Ronaldo picked up a pass on the right in full speed, suddenly stopped his run in order to get himself some space and then assisted Karim Benzema in the middle, near the penalty-kick mark. The French striker tried to finish it off with his right foot, but saw his shot first being deflected and then blocked by Basel's goalkeeper. The rebound ended up allowing for James Rodríguez to easily tap it in against an empty net and make it 4-0 for Real Madrid.

Basel would finally respond instants later and they couldn't have done it in better style. The Swiss team decided to show the world that Real Madrid aren't the only ones in Europe who can create brilliant counter-attacks and with only a few touches and several one-touch passes, they came out of their own half very quickly and caught the Merengues off guard, just before making them pay at the other end. The half-time then came on, but the 4-1 score was not leaving a great margin for Basel to believe a comeback was still possible...

The second-half showed us a more cautious Real Madrid, as Carlo Ancelotti probably ordered his players to step down a gear and wisely let the time left expire. And so it was, the pace of the game slowed down considerably and there would only be time for a fifth and final goal. Karim Benzema was more than happy to join the scoring spree and after showing off a great understanding and passing combination with Cristiano Ronaldo, he finally buried the last goal of the night, setting the final score in 5-1 to Real Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo goal in Real Madrid 5-1 Basel

Real Madrid line-up vs Basel:

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas
Defenders: Marcelo, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Nacho
Midfielders: Kroos, Modric, James Rodríguez
Attackers: Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema.

Match stats provided by www.ronaldo7.net
Real Madrid
vs
Basel
5
Goals
1
21
Shots
16
9
Shots on goal
5
7
Corner kicks
2
8
Fouls commited
8
1
Yellow cards
3
0
Red cards
0
52%
Ball possession
48%

Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Real Madrid will be against Deportivo La Coruña, for fourth fixture of La Liga, on September 20. In the meantime, you can watch Deportivo vs Real Madrid, Barça vs APOEL, Bayern Munich vs Manchester City, Chelsea vs Schalke 04, and Ajax vs PSV, all matches provided from our soccer streaming pages.

Real Madrid next game:
Deportivo vs Real Madrid
kick-off time (20-09-2014):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+7: 21:00
Spain
(Madrid) | GMT+2: 16:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+1: 15:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-3: 11:00
New York (United States) | GMT-4: 10:00
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-7 07:00
Beijing (China) | GMT+8: 22:00

Sources: ronaldo7.net / bbc.com / realmadrid.com

Cristiano Ronaldo profile shot

Iker Casillas in Real Madrid goal against Basel, in the UCL 2014-2015

James Rodríguez first UEFA Champions League goal for Real Madrid

Karim Benzema opening his arms to celebrate his goal for Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo making fun of a teammate

Gareth Bale goal celebration in 2014-2015

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