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Real Madrid raced into a 4-1 half-time lead over Basel in their first match of this season’s Champions League on Tuesday at Santiago Bernabeu. Looking to become the first team to retain the European Cup in the Champions League era, Madrid scored three goals in the span of six minutes.
Just 14 minutes in, full-back Nacho hit a cross that deflected past Basel goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik off of defender Marek Suchy. It was 2-0 at the half-hour mark when former Tottenham teammates linked up. Luka Modric supplied a sublime pass with the outside of his right foot to find Gareth Bale bursting clear over the top of the Basel defense and the Welsh forward lifted the ball over the onrushing Vaclik before touching it into the net from close range.
Madrid had every reason to be short on confidence after a painful defeat at home to local rivals Atletico Madrid on Saturday, but they showed no ill effects as the goals kept coming. Modric combined with Bale once more to set up Cristiano Ronaldo to finish simply to make it 3-0.
By the 36th minute, it was 4-0. Colombian star James Rodriguez got his first goal for his new club after reacting fastest to Vaclik’s save from Karim Benzema’s deflected effort.
Madrid’s defensive problems were in evidence when Derlis Gonzalez delivered a fine goal back for the Swiss club in the 38th minute off an assist from Luca Zuffi. But it will take a miraculous turnaround for it to be anything more than a consolation.