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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Solari's Real Madrid run riot against Viktoria Plzen

Despite a shaky start Real Madrid scored two quick goals just after 20 minutes and went on to dominate the game. Vinicius came on and set up Kroos for the fifth.

Update:
FIS46. PILSEN (REPÚBLICA CHECA), 07/11/2018.- El jugador Gareth Bale (i) de Real Madrid celebra la anotación de un gol hoy, miércoles 7 de noviembre de 2018, durante el partido del grupo G de la Liga de Campeones entre Real Madrid y V
MARTIN DIVISEKEFE

Viktoria Plzen 0-5 Real Madrid: match report

All is well at Real Madrid. Santiago Solari is yet to lose, or concede a goal as the manager of the club, Vinicius is stepping up to his role as a first team player, the strikers are striking again and Real Madrid thumped Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday in the Champions League.

That doesn't tell the whole story though. Real Madrid were at once dominant in attack and unsure of themselves at the back in a game that saw some poor defending from both sides throughout. But Real Madrid were far more clinical and had a 4-0 lead before the referee had whistled for the break.

The home side figured they might be able to take advantage of Real Madrid's collective fragile state of mind early on when they pressed them high up the field and nearly had a goal. A ball across the box was deflected onto the crossbar and was eventually cleared as .

Sergio Ramos might have been sent off on another occasion shortly after when his elbow found the bridge of Milan Havel's nose and after that the game swung in Real Madrid's direction.

Karim Benzema drove into the box on 21 minutes and feigned a shot before turning onto his left foot, reshaping his body and going with the right himself. He slotted under the keeper and Real Madrid were about to embark on a 19-minute spell that saw them net four and put the game to bed before the lights were out.

Casemiro headed home from a short corner two minutes later and a long cross to the back post was headed down by Gareth Bale only for Benzema to land his brace after 37 minutes.

Bale rounded out the scoring for the half with a left-footed finish after Benzema headed into his path. It was 4-0 and Real Madrid took the next five minutes to site back and catch their breathe while they admired their purple patch.

Viktoria Plzen had no reply either. The second half started and they came out with their guns blazing even if the guns weren't loaded. Time and time again, their attacks and counters failed to live up to the hype as a pass went astray or communication broke down.

Toni Kroos curled over Hruska after Vinicius, a second half sub, played it into his path after 67 minutes and Real Madrid were clear to land. That was the end of the scoring and it also signalled the end of any massive effort in the game.

Plzen were beaten, Ramos was subbed for rest and Real Madrid turned their attention to recovery and their trip to Galicia where a potent Celta Vigo side.

All is well at Real Madrid but scratch under the surface a little and it's not clear if they are free from their pre-Solari crisis or if there's more than meets the eye.

Viktoria Plzen-Real Madrid: live commentary updates

Viktoria Plzen-Real Madrid live online: preview

Real Madrid beat Viktoria Plzen just last week but suggestions that it was a walk in the park would be misguided. The Doosan Arena Plzen is the venue for Real Madrid's clash against Plzen and it's Santiago Solari's first game as the manager in the Champions League. Kick off from the Czech Republic is at 21:00 CET.

Santiago Solari called up 20 players to travel to Plzen but Marcelo, Vallejo, Mariano, Carvajal all remain out with injury. Solari is yet to lose after two games as the manager of Real Madrid with wins against Melilla and Valladolid at the weekend at the Santiago Bernabeu but he still has his work cut out for him. The big questions regarding Real Madrid's team is whether Vinicius will start in place of Bale. The Brazilian has played in the last two games for the club and was decisive in both and many believe it could be his time. Keylor Navas has started in every game in the Champions League but Solari has not said what would happen in goals. 

Viktoria Plzen are without Michael Krmencik, who played a starring role despite losing against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu last week. They have drawn one and lost two of their opening three games and are looking for their firsat win in the competition against a Real Madrid side who are not entirely out of their recent crisis but have improved slightly. The Czech side bounced back after their loss to Real Madrid with an away win against Banik Ostrava and sit second in their league on level points with the leaders, Slavia Prague, on 34 points.

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