Plzen (Czech Republic), Nov 8 (IANS) Real Madrid thrashed Viktoria Plzen 5-0 to move into a tie on points with AS Roma for the lead in Group G of the Champions League football tournament.
Karim Benzema had a brace for the defending three-time holders in their first Champions League outing under interim coach Santiago Solari, who went with Thibaut Courtois in goal instead of Keylor Navas, the starter in Madrid’s’ three previous European matches.
The visitors enjoyed 62 percent possession and Plzen’s only opportunities came in the first few minutes of each half here on Wednesday night, reports Efe.
Though Real Madrid were lucky to avoid going down to 10 men when a Sergio Ramos challenge left Plzen’s Milan Havel with a bloody nose.
Benzema opened the scoring with a strike in the 20th minute and Casemiro made it 2-0 for the Blancos just three minutes later.
The third and fourth goals materialised within a three-minute span — Benzema’s header in the 37th and a strike by Gareth Bale with five minutes to go in the first-half regulation.
Plzen went forward in pursuit of a face-saving goal, creating open space that Toni Kroos exploited to boost the score to 5-0 with a goal in the 67th minute.