It was supposed to be the night when history was made at the Santiago Bernabeu. The celebration was prepared as everyone expected Cristiano Ronaldo to reach the 100 goal mark in the European competition. It seemed that the fans never really worried if their team would defeat the visitors, as much as they wanted to see their superstar score two goals and make the 100 goal mark….
But let’s not jump too far ahead, after all the matchup in Group F between the Real Madrid and Legia Warsaw displayed a ton of goals and in the end still was a super performance.
Here is how both coaches decided to start the game:
Real Madrid starting lineup: Navas; Danilo, Pepe, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Asensio, James; Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale
Legia Warsaw starting lineup: Malarz; Bereszynski, Czerwinski, Rzezniczak, Hlousek; Guilherme, Jodlowiec, Moulin, Kucharczyk; Odjidja; Radovic
The Los Blancos, who won the UCL title last season, despite being far from convincing starting of the 2016/2017 Champions league campaign, are aiming for their 11th European Cup. They have managed to reach the semi-finals in each of the last 6 seasons and are hoping to be the first team EVER that will defend the Champions league title. They have been magnificent at the Santiago Bernabeu in the Champions league. Namely in the last 31 home games, they have recorder 27 wins, 3 draws and only 1 loss.
On the other side, the Polish side Legia Warsaw has had a tough start of the season on all fronts. The 11-time Polish Champions have had rough season in the domestic competition. After the first 12 rounds, they hold the 12th position with only 13 points collected. However, they are back in the Champions league group stage after 1995/96 season. In their first two rounds, they have suffered tough losses, first one coming to Dortmund (6:0) at home and the second against Sporting (2:0) away.
Tonight’s referee was the Frenchman Ruddy Buquet!!!
The hosts took the initiative right from the kick-off, while the visitors decided to pull back and wait for their chances through counter attacks. In a surprising openning minutes, the visitors were the ones who created the first scoring chances.
In the 8th minute Tomazs Jodlowiec had a nice chance inside the box as his shot was saved by the keeper. Following his teammate’s chance, Odjidja-Ofoa found and oppening from just outside the box and fired a shot which was denied by the left post…It was a great scoring chance for the visiting side.
However, the Los Blancos saw an excellent solo run on the right side by Gareth Bale who fired a lovely and precise shot into the bottom left corner of the goal putting his team upfront with 1:0 after 17 minutes.
Just as expected, once they open the scoring sheet, it is hard to stop the Los Blancos. In the 20th minute it was already 2:0 as Marcelo fired a shot from just outside the box. However, his shot was deflected by Jodlowiec and the ball finished behind the back of the keeper Malarz.
Only two minutes later it was 2:1 as the visitors managed to score from the penalty spot. Namely, Miroslav Radovic was fouled by Danilo inside the box and the referee had no other choice but to point at the penalty spot. Same player (Radovic) stepped forward and executed the penalty perfectly, sending the ball to the right side of the goal.
Real Madrid continued to push forward and saw few more scoring chances as Benzema fired a shot from inside the box in the 26th minute but his shot was saved by Malarz. Ronaldo fired a lovely shot from a free kick but the ball went straight towards the middle of the goal and the visiting goalkeeper had no problems of saving his goal.
Madrid scored its 3rd goal of the evening, after Ronaldo provided a lovely pass for Marco Asensio who scored from the edge of the box. With this goal, Marco Asensio became the first Real Madrid player to score in three different competitions this season!!!
After a lot of excitement in the first 45 minutes, the referee signaled the end of the first half. Although we have expected the Los Blancos to come out strong and score a couple in the first 45 minutes, we have not expected the visitors to play this offensively, creating several scoring chances.
It was Real Madrid who controlled the game in the first 45 minutes keeping the possession of the ball with 60%, while firing 14 shots – five of which were on target. Legia, meanwhile, hit the target with three of their six attempts in the opening 45 minutes.
The 2nd half was devoted to Cristiano Ronaldo as all eyes were on him and his noticeable will to score a goal. In the first 20 minutes of the second half he saw limited action, not finding himself in a scoring chance.
However, his teammates were on point as Lucas Vasquez scored the 4th goal for his team in the 68th minute, after a lovely cross by Alvaro Morata.
In the 84th minute the host only confirmed their huge blowout win as Alvaro Morata scored after yet another lovely pass by Ronaldo, who might not have scored tonight, but dished two assists after setting up Morata, who places the ball into the bottom corner after finding space inside the Legia box.
It was all from the tonight meeting between these two teams as the referee brought the second period to a close with Real Madrid running out 5-1 winners on home soil.
The current standing of the Group F after the first 3 rounds:
- Dortmund has 7 points,
- Real Madrid has 7 points,
- Sporting has 3 points,
- Legia Warsaw has 0 points