Real Madrid emphatically bounced back from defeat to Sheriff Tiraspol three weeks ago with a 5-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev.
Three goals in 15 second half minutes saw them overpower their hosts, who are still winless in Group D, but it was a dominant display ahead of El Clasico against Barcelona this weekend.
Karim Benzema led the line superbly throughout, and he tested young Shakhtar goalkeeper Anatolii Trubin with an early sighter.
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Toni Kroos, Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr also threatened, but the visitors were only carving out chances in spurts early on.
It was an open first half, and Shakhtar gave as good as they got. Manor Solomon had the beating of Lucas Vazquez down the right. He was involved in a move which saw Eder Militao intervene to clear Ismaily's cross before it reached Tete in the area.
Los Blancos went ahead with eight minutes remaining of the first half. Serhi Kryvtsov sliced Lucas' pass, aimed for Benzema, into his own net and past a helpless Trubin.
As Rodrygo and Benzema pressed for a second before the break, it was imperative Shakhtar stayed compact.

Real Madrid players celebrate

Image credit: Getty Images

By the hour mark, though, the game was as good as done. Vinicius was the standout man for Real, and he grabbed a sumptuous brace.
First, Luka Modric picked him out with a perfect first-time pass, leaving him free to dink over Trubin, but then he did all the hard work himself for the second. Twisting and turning, he found his way into the area, before lashing the ball into the roof of the net.
Five minutes past the hour, Rodrygo added a fourth. Benzema's quick thinking found Vinicius, who crossed found his fellow Brazilian to finish.
Natutally, the game hit a lull after that, but there was still time for Benzema to get in on the action in stoppage time.

TALKING POINT - Madrid's young stars come of age

It has been a fantastic start to the season for Vinicius, with the 21-year-old scoring five goals in his first eight La Liga matches. After a slow start to life in Madrid, he has well and truly exploded now. He and Rodrygo were superb out wide, but he was the most decisive in the end; utterly devastating when it mattered. The spotlight has been moving away from Real in recent years, but there is a new generation ready to bring it right back.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)

It could have been Militao, it could have been Kroos, Modric or Benzema, but Vinicius made the real difference. The composure and quality he showed for both his goals are proof of vast growth under Ancelotti, and the seemingly perennially-wounded Barcelona will have to beware of him. He looked supreme tonight; confidence will be flowing through him.

PLAYER RATINGS

Shakhtar Donetsk: Trubin 5, Ismaily 5, Kryvtsov 4, Marlon 5, Dodo 5, Tete 5, Maycon 5, Pedrinho 5, Alan Patrick 5, Solomon 5, Fernando 5. Substitutes: Antonio 4, Marlos 4, Korniienko 4, Mudryk 4, Stepanenko n/a
Real Madrid: Courtois 6, Mendy 7, Alaba 7, Militao 8, Lucas 6, Kroos 7, Casemiro 6, Modric 8, Rodrygo 7, Vinicius Jr 9, Benzema 8. Substitutes: Marcelo 6, Asensio n/a, Camavinga n/a, Valverde n/a, Vallejo n/a

KEY MOMENTS

37' - GOAL! Oh, no for Serhi Kryvtsov! Lucas' searching ball is looking for Benzema, but the defender slices into his own net.
51' - GOAL! And what a goal, too. Unbelievable first-time pass from Modric. Vinicius dinks over Trubin.
56' - GOAL! Vinicius with a superb solo goal. 3-0. Fantastic balance before he smashes the ball into the roof of the net. Game done, surely?
65' - GOAL! Benzema finds Vinicius from a quick Kroos free kick; he finds Vinicius, who reverses the pass for Rodrygo. 4-0.
90' + 1 - GOAL! Benzema adds a fifth. He has deserved that goal.

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