Reuters

Bale ends his European drought as Real Madrid hit five past Legia Warsaw

Bale ends his European drought as Real Madrid hit five past Legia Warsaw

18/10/2016 at 22:05

Bernabeu, Champions League Group F - Real Madrid 5 (Bale 16, Jodlowiec o.g. 20, Asensio, Vazquez 68, Morata 84) Legia Warsaw 1 (Radovic 22 pen)

Gareth Bale scored his first Champions League goal since December 2014 as Real Madrid thrashed Legia Warsaw 5-1 at home.

In a thrilling first-half, the Polish side spurned two good opportunities before Bale punished them with a sublime strike.

The reigning European champions doubled their lead when Marcelo's strike took a cruel deflection off Tomasz Jodlowiec and into the net.

Legia hit back through a penalty from Miroslav Radovic but minutes later missed another glorious chance to score.

And Zinedine Zidane's side made them pay again with Cristiano Ronaldo teeing up Marco Asensio to score on his Champions League debut.

The second half was more one-sided and the home side sealed an impressive performance when substitute Lucas Vazquez netted before fellow substitute Alvaro Morata scored late on to make it seven points from three group games.

Zinedine Zidane - Real Madrid v Legia Warszawa - UEFA Champions League

Zinedine Zidane - Real Madrid v Legia Warszawa - UEFA Champions LeagueReuters

TALKING POINT

Should Zidane be worried about his defence? In the first half Madrid were far too open and guilty of giving the ball away near their box - Legia should have scored at least three. The Spanish giants improved defensively in the second half and may point out that once Sergio Ramos and Casemiro return from injury they will have a stronger back line without the need to buy a holding player in the January transfer window.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Marco Asensio (Real Madrid): The 20-year-old's long range of passing was impressive as was his link-up play with Ronaldo on his European debut. And he took his goal brilliantly and looks to have a bright future.

PLAYER RATINGS

REAL MADRID: Navas 6, Pepe 5, Varane 5, Danilo 5, Asensio 8, Marcelo 7, Bale 7, Rodriguez 4, Benzema 6, Kroos 5, Ronaldo 6. Subs: Vazquez 5, Morata 5, Kovacic 4.

LEGIA WARSAW: Kucharczyk 6, Radovic 7, Guilherme 6, Jodlowiec 5, Ofoe 6, Moulin 6, Housek 4, Czerwinski 5, Rzezniczak 5, Bereszynski 6, Malarz 5. Subs: Kazaiszwili 5, Nikolic 5, Kopcynski 4.

KEY MOMENTS:

9' - WHAT A CHANCE! Jodlowiec pounces on a Kroos error, bursts into the area but his low shot from close range is blocked by Navas. He really should have done better from there.

12' WOODWORK! The ball is played to the edge of the area for Odjidja-Ofoe whose low shot hits the inside of the post with Navas beaten.

16' - GOAL! Madrid 1-0 Legia: Bale collects a pass on the right flank, cuts inside and fires a curling effort into the bottom corner. A brilliant strike.

20' - GOAL! Madrid 2-0 Legia: Benzema tees up Marcelo who drives the ball into the box, it takes a wicked deflection off Jodlowiec and wrongfoots the keeper and goes in. That is cruel.

22' - GOAL! Madrid 1-2 Legia: Radovic wins a penalty after a poor challenge by Varane. The strike takes the spot-kick and sends Navas the wrong way to make it 2-1. Game on!

37' -GOAL! Madrid 3-1 Legia: Danilo fires in a low cross Ronaldo who does brilliantly to tee up Asensio who drives the ball into the corner on his Champions League debut.

68' - GOAL! Madrid 4-1 Legia: The long punt downfield from Navas finds Morata who bursts down the wing and sends in a great ball for fellow substitute Vazquez to fire the ball under the keeper.

84’ - GOAL! Madrid 5-1 Legia: Kovacic with a good ball to Ronaldo who tees up Morata in the space and the Spaniard hammers the ball in.

KEY STATS

Madrid are unbeaten in 23 games in all competitions.

Zinedine Zidane's side have won eight matches in row at home in the Champions League.

Legia's last win in the Champions League group stage was 21 years ago.

The Polish side, who lie 13th in their domestic league, have shipped ten goals from three Champions League games.

MATCH IN A TWEET

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