Sep 16, 2014 at 7.45pm UK at ​Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid
Suchy (14' og.), Bale (30'), Ronaldo (31'), Rodriguez (37'), Benzema (79')
Pepe (85')
FT(HT: 4-1)
Gonzalez (38')
El-Nenny (55'), Samuel (60'), Xhaka (91')

Live Commentary: Real Madrid 5-1 Basel - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Champions League group-stage opener between Real Madrid and Basel from the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid got their Champions League defence off to an emphatic start courtesy of a 5-1 victory over Basel at the Bernabeu.

An unfortunate own goal from Marek Suchy gifted the hosts a 14th-minute lead, before three goals in six minutes put Madrid well and truly in command.

Derlis Gonzalez managed to pull a goal back almost immediately after, but Karim Benzema restored his side's four-goal cushion 10 minutes from time to secure the comfortable win.

Read how the game unfolded below.

6.47pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text commentary of the Champions League group-stage meeting between Real Madrid and Basel from the Bernabeu. Four months on from winning that memorable 10th European crown in Lisbon, Madrid will be looking to become the first side to retain the cup since the competition's inception in 1992.

6.49pmUp first for Los Blancos is last season's Switzerland Super League champions Basel, who will be looking to pile further misery on a home side who have struggled to get going in La Liga this season. Tonight's game gets underway in just under an hour, so let's take a look the team news.

6.50pmTEAM NEWS!

REAL MADRID XI: Casillas, Pepe, Ramos, Nacho, Marcelo, Ronaldo, Kroos, Modric, James, Bale, Benzema

BASEL XI: Vaclik; Samuel, Schar, Suchy, Safari, Zuffi, Frei, Elneny, Xhaka, Gonzalez, Streller

6.52pmAncelotti has made two changes to his starting lineup then, with Marcelo and Nacho coming into the side, while Sami Khedira, as expected, misses out. It's a frightening looking attack for Madrid, with Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema arguably the most potent attacking force in world football right now.

6.55pmBasel are without Marcelo Diaz tonight due to his suspension in the Europa League last season carrying over into this campaign, although there is a return to the Bernabeu for full-back Walter Samuel who starts for the visitors. The Argentine spent one year at Real, and he faces the daunting task of keeping out Bale and Co.

6.56pmOne of the finest arenas in world football...


REAL MADRID: Navas, Varane, Coentrao, Chicharito, Arbeloa, Isco, Illarra

BASEL: Vailati, Aliji, Delgado, Kakitani, Calla, Gashi, Embolo

7pmMany, including the vast majority of Real Madrid supporters themselves, expected Keylor Navas to take the place of Iker Casillas this evening, but that's not the case. The Mexican has to make due with a place on the bench, as does Javier Hernandez who joined on loan from Manchester United during the summer.

7.03pmMadrid may have made a slow start to their league campaign, but the Champions League is a different ball game altogether. Last season they put to rest their 12-year wait for their 10th European crown - or 'La Decima' - which helped cover up what was a poor showing in La Liga by Los Blancos' own high standards.

7.05pmLocal rivals Atletico Madrid of course went on to win the Spanish top flight title, but as if written by a top Hollywood scriptwriter, the white half of Madrid had the last laugh with a dramatic 4-1 victory over their city counterparts in the Champions League final a few days later.

7.08pmThat victory may sound comfortable, but it required a late, late Sergio Ramos equaliser to keep Real in the match, before Bale edged Ancelotti's men ahead, and the rest as they say is history. En route to the showpiece final, the Spanish giants saw off Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, while they also recorded a near perfect record in the group stage.

7.10pmJuventus were the only side who managed to halt Madrid in the group stage, holding them to a draw, while at the Bernabeu it was a clean sweep of victories in the competition. If that's not daunting enough for tonight's opponents, Real also hold a 100% record against Swiss sides, scoring 42 goals and conceding just two across 10 meetings.

7.14pmYet it's not all that bleak, and Madrid are beatable - even at their own home. An underwhelming opening-day victory was followed up with a catastrophic collapse at Real Sociedad, in a game that saw the Champions League holders race into a two-goal lead before succumbing to a 4-2 reverse. If that wasn't bad enough, Atletico made the short journey across town to take all three points on Saturday to leave Los Blancos down in 13th place. As incredible as it may sound, the pressure is well and truly on Ancelotti right now after just three league games.

7.16pmReal also have the joint-worst defence this season, statistically speaking, which ensures that tonight's game is not a dead rubber. Plus, this is a Basel side that won their domestic league last season and recorded a group-stage double over Chelsea in this competition.


7.20pmIt wasn't enough to stop FCB dropping out of the Champions League, however, and they ended the campaign on somewhat of a sour note having thrown away a three-goal first-leg lead over Valencia to fall to a 5-3 defeat. Let's just hope that the defending is better tonight.

7.23pmThe Swiss outfit are these days managed by a familiar name in Paulo Sousa. The former Juventus and Dortmund player has previously 'enjoyed' spells at Queens Park Rangers, Swansea City and Leicester City - in fact, this is his sixth job in the same number of years since leaving his position as coach of the Portugal Under-16 side.

7.26pmThere is no doubting that this will be the hardest game Basel face in the group stage of the competition, but their double-header with Liverpool could potentially decide who joins Madrid in the next round. No disrespect to Ludogorets Razgrad who make up Group B, but they are likely to make up the numbers in what should otherwise be a fairly competitive group.

7.29pmSTAT ATTACK: In 44 European Cup campaigns, Real Madrid have failed to win their opening home game only twice, most recently a 3-3 draw against RSC Anderlecht in 1962. Basel, meanwhile, are still seeking a first win in Spain, where their record is W0 D2 L5.

7.31pmPREDICTION: With that in mind, it's hard to see past anything other than a fairly comfortable home win - I'll go with 3-0 to the La Liga giants.


7.36pmAs mentioned, Madrid have made their worst start to a league campaign in almost a decade, but is it simply a case of manager Ancelotti finding the right balance early on? The exit of Xabi Alonso and Angel di Maria this summer was surprising, it must be said. Although the duo had been linked with moves away, they provided Real with the perfect balance, the Argentine in particular who linked midfield and attack with ease. Even talisman Ronaldo was left to question the decision.

7.38pmWorld Cup star James was the key addition over the summer, and he fits in alongside Bale and Ronaldo this evening with the ever-improving Benzema leading the line in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Modric and Kroos, meanwhile, provide one of the finest pivots in world football ahead of the admittedly shaky back four.

7.41pmWhen the going gets tough, you can often expect Ronaldo and Bale to shine. There's no questioning the ability of the former, but Bale still seems to go rather under the radar. Strange as that may seem for the world's most expensive footballer, the Welshman doesn't receive the same acclaim as his teammate, yet his goals last season proved key - look no further than the Champions League final.

7.43pmI've been lucky enough to see Bale in action up close on a number of occasions since he made his high-profile move to Spain - including in Wales's narrow victory over Andorra this time last week - and each time he has made a major impact. Can he step it up yet again this season?

7.44pmThe teams are out and the Champions League anthem is belting around the Bernabeu. Kickoff is now just a couple of minutes away.

0 minKICKOFF! Madrid's Champions League title defence is officially underway.

3 minMadrid passing the ball around the field with no real penetration yet, with Modric getting the game's first real shot away which flies well over. Interestingly, Basel are lining up with a three-man backline this evening.

5 minBasel equalling up the shot count at the other end with Casillas handling the ball well. Big game for him tonight having come under fire of late. Navas watches on from the bench.

6 minSHOT! Ronaldo sees his shot deflected over the bar in a sign of what is to come. Just a reminder, he has 52 goals to his name in Europe in 53 appearances.

8 minMadrid win the first corner of the game and it falls nicely to Pepe on the edge of the box in space, but his shot is horribly skewed. He blames the pitch, as every footballer seems to these days, but in fairness the turf did appear to rip up under his feet.

11 minNice, open game so far, with both sides enjoying plenty of space. So often in this competition you see sides closing down repeatedly - look no further than Atletico, for example - but so far it appears that the contest will be stretched.

13 minMadrid are playing with two different full-backs this evening, and so far they are essentially playing as wingers. Nothing produced from them in an attacking sense so far, although Bale has managed to get his first shot of the night away - the less said the better as it went horribly wide.


15 minA sublime back-heel from James plays in the overlapping Nacho, who in turn sees his cross deflected into his own net by Marek Suchy. Nacho was claiming it, but there is no way the dubious goal panel will credit him with the goal.

18 minCLOSE! FCB come close at the other end, meanwhile, although Marco Streller's flicked effort ends narrowly wide of the target. Casillas was scrambling across and looked to have it covered even if it was goal-bound.

21 minAn entertaining game so far which has by no means by all one-sided, although Madrid just about deserved their lead. Ronaldo and Bale yet to get into the flow of things which is rather worrying for the hosts.

23 min

25 minMarcelo has a pop at goal from range which fails to truly test Tomas Vaclik, while a minute later Modric unleashes a shot which the Basel keeper struggles to properly handle. Madrid turning it up now in search of a second.

27 minCLOSE! Real very nearly got their second after Vaclik failed to handle Pepe's headed effort from a corner. The Czech fumbled the ball with three home players looking to tap it in, but he managed to redeem himself by hooking it away with his fingertips.


31 minBale gives his side some breathing space by adding a second, and it was a very well worked goal. Modric found himself in space around five yards into his own half before picking out his teammate inside the box with the outside of his boot. Bale initially chips the ball over the keeper before tapping home.


33 minAnd that is surely game over with a little over 30 minutes played. Modric once more is the key creator, playing in Bale down the right-hand side who in turn uses his strength and pace before squaring across the face of goal for Ronaldo to score the simplest of tap-ins.

35 minReal Madrid are well and truly in the mood. They are a different beast altogether in Europe, as we saw last season, and the only question now is surely how many they are going to bag. Fifty-five minutes remain.


37 minThis is getting rather embarrassing now as the hosts add goal number four with 36 minutes gone. Benzema was the man who began the attack in a deep position, picking out Ronaldo out wide who returned it to the Frenchman. Benzema saw his shot well saved by Vaclik, but James was there to tap home. Double figures, anyone?


39 minHold your horses, it's now 4-1. What an incredible first half this has been! Basel hit Madrid on the counter and Gonzalez bursts away before firing the ball beyond Casillas from the edge of the box. Great strike.

40 minThat goal right there highlights Real's frailties. They boast Pepe, Marcelo and Sergio Ramos in their experienced defence, yet Gonzalez made that look all too easy.

43 minYet again Madrid looking shaky at the back. Streller takes advantage of Modric's silly back pass before charging through. Ramos looked to bring him down, but the forward stayed on his feet; a less honest player may have gone down there.


8.35pmSo where to start when it comes to analysing that half?! I said in the early minutes that it looked very open, but I didn't quite expect Madrid to turn on the style in the fashion that they did. Three goals in six minutes to add to an earlier own goal put the hosts well in control, but Basel struck back moments later to pull one back.

8.37pmIt looks merely a consolation at this stage, but that half perfectly encapsulates Madrid so far this season - great going forward, terrible at times at the back. That said, it's wrong to be critical of the team following a hugely impressive 45 minutes.

8.39pmBest in the world?

8.42pmTaking a closer look at those goals, Modric seemed to be involved in each. The third goal in particular, rounded off by Ronaldo, showed Madrid at their attacking best, with CR7 plus former Tottenham Hotspur duo Modric and Bale combining perfectly.

8.45pmJust the 10 shots for Real in the first half then, six of which were on goal, and surely more to come in the second 45? Sousa may opt to change things around at the interval from a tactical point of view, with the three at the back set-up clearly not working.

8.47pmUPDATE: Liverpool 0-0 Ludogorets Razgrad. The other game in this group is still goalless, meaning that Madrid will top the table if things remain the same.

45 minSECOND HALF! Here we go again. Madrid, in their all white kit, get the second half underway.

47 minAn early chance for Ronaldo to add to his and Real's tally, but his free kick from range is well wide. Basel keeping hold of the ball around defence; I think they've learnt their lesson.

50 minA fare more sombre start to the second half, with all the noise in the stands coming from the away fans. At least it drowns out the jeers directed in the direction of Casillas every time he touches the ball, I guess.

51 minCHANCE! Best chance of the half so far, and it falls to Basel. You won't be surprised to hear that it was poor Madrid defending that led to the chance, although it came to nothing after some bad controlling inside the box. Moments later, Casillas was called into action to keep out a Luca Zuffi's long-range drive which he did well to handle.

54 minYELLOW CARD! First caution of the night goes to Basel's Mohamed Elneny who has pulled back on a few opposition players in the last five minutes or so. Ronaldo fires the resulting free kick into the wall.

57 minNo chance of sitting back on that three-goal lead...

59 minSHOT! Benzema gets a long-range effort in at goal which does little to trouble Vaclik. This game has gone awfully quiet.

61 minYELLOW CARD! Samuel is booked on his return to the Bernabeu for a foul on Marcelo. Five or six Real players debate other who is going to take the resulting free kick on the edge of the box, with Ramos prevailing. The defender won't be taking the next one, however, with an horrendous attempt on goal.

64 minSUBSTITUTION! Samuel's night draws to an early finish, with Yoichiro Kakitani the man to replace him. A defender for a striker... I wonder?

66 minSUBSTITUTION! Ronaldo and Bale are still out on the pitch, but with a big game at Deportivo coming up on the weekend, I wonder how long that will remain the case? Ramos is the first home player to be withdrawn, with the highly-rated Raphael Varane coming on.

68 minSAVE! Casillas produces a brilliant save to keep out Gonzalez. It was a poor back header from the recently-introduced Varane to let the striker through on goal, but the Spanish international pulled off a fantastic reflex stop to retain his side's three-goal advantage intact.

70 minA decent spell of possession for Basel, but they are unable to create any openings. A second goal would make things interesting.

72 minRonaldo coming more and more central to collect possession off Kroos. Considering there were a few question marks hanging over the Portuguese coming into this game, it's somewhat surprising that he's still on the field.

73 minCHANCE! Good opportunity for Bale to put a cherry on top of the cake, but he fails to beat Vaclik when played in.

75 minSUBSTITUTION! Streller is replaced by Breel Embolo with 15 minutes remaining.

77 minOFF THE POST! Fabian Schar finds himself in space on the edge of the box before unleashing a strike which bounces back off the post. Credit to the Swiss outfit who have not sat back in this second half. Often teams will go ultra defensive following a first half like we saw, but they have remained positive and deserve a second at the very least.

79 minUPDATE: Still goalless in the group's other game between Liverpool and Ludogorets. A three-way race for second spot, perhaps?


81 minReal get their fifth goal of the night, and it is arguably the best of the lot. Ronaldo's flick picks out Benzema, and the Frenchman, desperate for a goal to his name, unleashes a thunderous strike with his left foot which bounces off the crossbar and back into the roof of the net.

82 minSUBSTITUTION! Chicharito enters the party in place of Benzema who receives a standing ovation. Not only was that the best goal of the night, but also the most important in terms of confidence that the Frenchman will gain.

83 minSUBSTITUTION! Frei is replaced by Delgado. Not midfielder's finest hour, but bigger nights await.

84 minUPDATE: Liverpool have taken the lead against Ludogorets thanks to Mario Balotelli's 82nd-minute strike. Basel host the Reds in the next Champions League game week. What a match that promises to be!

85 minYELLOW CARD! All very sloppy now. Pepe is the latest man to enter the referee's book following a challenge on Embolo.

88 min

91 minBoth sides just playing out time now. No openings since that Benzema goal 10 minutes ago.

90+2 minUPDATE: A dramatic turn of events at Anfield as Ludogorets equalise late on, before Steve Gerrard regains Liverpool's lead from the spot.


9.37pmThere we have it then - Madrid get their Champions League defence off to a winning start in emphatic style. In truth the game was all over by the 36th minute when the fourth goal hit the net, but credit to Basel for sticking with it.

9.39pmFCB perhaps deserved more than one goal to their name to show for their attacking intent in the second half, but it wasn't to be as Ancelotti's men added a fifth through Benzema 10 minutes from time.

9.40pmThat's all from me, but stick around on Sports Mole as we bring you a full match report, player ratings, analysis and reaction from across each game in the Champions League this evening.

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Atletico Madrid's Turkish midfielder Arda Turan (top) celebrates with Atletico Madrid's French forward Antoine Griezmann after scoring during the Spanish league football match against Real Madrid on September 13, 2014
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