Champions League: Three takeaways from Real Madrid’s rout of Viktoria Plzen

Grant SmithNov 08, 2018

"I said it before he was Real Madrid coach and I'll say it again now that he's gone".

Real Madrid interim coach Santi Solari said his players deserved all the praise after Wednesday's 5-0 Champions League Group A win at Viktoria Plzen, with several on the squad saying Solari should be have the job until at least the end of the season. We came into the game fully focused and it showed.

With two games remaining in Group G reigning champions Real are joint top on nine points with AS Roma who beat CSKA Moscow 2-1.

It was a landmark night for Benzema, whose first goal was his 200th for the club.

Since the departure of Lopetegui, Real have somewhat steadied the ship with the installation of former player and Castilla coach Santiago Solari, who has so far overseen victories against UD Melilla in the Copa del Rey and Valladolid over the weekend.

Toni Kroos completed the scoring in the 67th minute when he cooly chipped over the keeper after a counter-attack involving Brazilian substitute Vinicius on his Champions League debut.

Things could have turned out much differently on the night as Real initially struggled in an unorthodox 4-3-3 formation that had Dani Ceballos - in for Luka Modric in one of two changes - fielded just behind Karim Benzema.

Benzema doubled his tally and set up Gareth Bale in the space of 144 seconds towards the end of the first half, and Toni Kroos floated a lovely 67th-minute chip home to wrap up the win and leave Plzen playing exclusively for third place. "We live in permanent crisis all the time, even when we are winning the Champions League".

"On other days we created chances like tonight but didn't take them".

Dan Fitch is expecting a third consecutive win for Real Madrid under their caretaker manager, when they travel to Viktoria Plzen.

"We conceded four goals in the first half and the match was over", Plzen defender Lukas Hejda said.

Viktoria Plzen are bottom, with a single point. So many can be scored with players of such quality.

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