MX23RW : Wednesday, August 4 08:33:33| >> :60:2655:2655:
Sep 16, 2014 at 7.45pm UK at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid
5-1
Basel
Suchy (14' og.), Bale (30'), Ronaldo (31'), Rodriguez (37'), Benzema (79')
FT(HT: 4-1)
Gonzalez (38')

Match Analysis: Real Madrid 5-1 Basel

Sports Mole analyses the Champions League encounter between Real Madrid and Basel at the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid kicked off the defence of their Champions League crown in emphatic style with a 5-1 victory over Basel at the Bernabeu.

Marek Suchy's 14th-minute own goal gifted the home side a lead that they soon built on before the interval through Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez.

Basel managed to pull a goal back courtesy of Derlis Gonzalez's strike, but Karim Benzema regained Madrid's four-goal cushion 10 minutes from time to round off the scoring.

Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look at the 90 minutes.

Match statistics

REAL MADRID
Shots: 17
On target: 9
Possession: 54%
Corners: 7
Fouls: 8

BASEL
Shots: 14
On target: 5
Possession: 46%
Corners: 7
Fouls: 8

Was the result fair?

Based on Basel's second-half attacking approach, the emphatic 5-1 scoreline seems a little harsh. There is no denying that Real Madrid were by far the better side across 90 minutes, with a six-minute spell of domination in the second half ending the game as a contest. It was always going to be tough for the Swiss outfit knowing that Madrid had to put on a show this evening to please their supporters, but they deserve credit for keeping the score at a somewhat respectable level following their thrashing in the first 45 minutes.

Read Madrid's performance

Carlo Ancelotti's men came into this game under as much pressure as is possible at this stage of a campaign. Defeats against Real Sociedad and local rivals Atletico Madrid ensured that Madrid have experienced their worst start to a domestic season in almost a decade. Tonight's victory will go some way to avenging those losses, although in terms of their leaky defence - the joint worst in La Liga - there is still a lot of work to be done.

There is no questioning the attacking quality that the Spanish giants possess, but at the back yet again Sergio Ramos, Marcelo and Pepe looked shaky, although Nacho, brought in as one of two replacements to the side for this match, can be more than happy with his display. In many ways this game offered a microcosm of what we have come to expect of the Champions League holders - fantastic going forward, suspect at the back. Thankfully, for home supporters at least, it did not affect them tonight.

Basel's performance

Credit to manager Paulo Sousa for refusing to roll over in the second half. Instead of making a raft of changes to his personnel, as is often the case following a first half such as the one we witnessed at the Bernabeu, the much-travelled boss instead stuck to his guns and even removed a defender for a striker with 30 minutes still to play.

This result will change little for FCB in terms of their hopes in this competition, and they will still feel confident that they can overcome Liverpool - or potentially Ludogorets Razgrad - and take second place. If they are to do that then they will of course need to improve defensively when they take on the Reds in the next game week, yet it was clear to see tonight that they have enough in attack to ask questions of Brendan Rodgers's side.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Luka Modric: Plenty of Madrid players to chose from for this accolade, but Modric was his brilliant self throughout. He was involved in pretty much all of his side's goals, and his assist for Bale's goal was one of the finest you'll see this season, using the outside of his boot to play the Welshman in.

Biggest gaffe

A little harsh to focus on Madrid, perhaps, but their defence just seemed to collapse when Gonzalez ran at them for Basel's only goal. Casillas, who has come under fire from his own supporters of late, may take the brunt of the blame, but the space and time afforded to Gonzalez summed up all that is bad about Real.

Referee performance

Damir Skomina had little to do in truth, and although there were a few questionable decisions throughout, he managed to let the game flow well.

What next?

Read Madrid: Ancelotti's charges will look to get their La Liga campaign back on track when they travel to face Deportivo on the weekend. Next up in the Champions League, meanwhile, is a visit to face minnows Ludogorets in a couple of weeks' time.

Basel: The Swiss champions turn their attention to domestic cup action on the weekend when they take on Winterthur, while a home match against Liverpool awaits in the next European gameweek.

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Carlo Ancelotti, coach of Real Madrid reacts during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 2, 2014
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United StatesUnited States25292276
JapanJapan2071239
AustraliaAustralia1541635
Great BritainGreat Britain14181547
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Wednesday's key events


SKATEBOARDING
· Team GB starlet Sky Brown - aged just 13 - takes part in the women's park event and has a realistic chance of picking up a medal too. Bombette Martin is Britain's other representative, while hosts Japan are among the favourites for gold (1am)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain's women have more history in their sights heading into their semi-final against Netherlands - the team they beat in the 2016 gold medal match (2.30am)

ATHLETICS
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· The men's 800m final could be a wide-open affair (1.05pm)
· A thrilling men's 200m final is in store as the likes of Andre de Grasse, Noah Lyles and 17-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton bid to succeed Usain Bolt as Olympic champion (1.55pm)

SAILING
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CYCLING
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> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Athletic Bilbao00000000
2Atletico MadridAtletico00000000
3Barcelona00000000
4CadizCadiz00000000
5Celta Vigo00000000
6AlavesAlaves00000000
7ElcheElche00000000
8Espanyol00000000
9Getafe00000000
10Granada00000000
11Levante00000000
12Mallorca00000000
13Osasuna00000000
14Rayo Vallecano00000000
15Real Betis00000000
16Real Madrid00000000
17Real Sociedad00000000
18Sevilla00000000
19Valencia00000000
20Villarreal00000000

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