Real Madrid defeated Shaktar Donetsk 4-0 on Tuesday to kick-off their Champions League campaign on the perfect note.
- Ronaldo scores a hat-trick
- Taras Stepanenko sent off
- Benzema opens the scoring
- Real Madrid win 4-0
Karim Benzema opened the scoring for Real Madrid in the 30th minute and things went from bad to worse for Shaktar just 20 minutes later when Taras Stepanenko received his second yellow card and was sent off.
Cristiano Ronald hit a second-half hat-trick to continue his record-breaking run of goals and add a touch of gloss to the final result.
Shaktar Donetsk proved no match for Real Madrid in Tuesday’s Champions League Group A clash as the Spanish side strolled to a 4-0 win
Madrid went into the fixture on the back of two emphatic wins in La Liga over the last two weeks – a 5-0 victory of Real Betis and 6-0 win over Espanyol on Saturday.
Ronaldo and Benzema were responsible for a seven of the 11 goals scored in those games, and they managed to transfer that fine form from domestic to European competition.
As expected, Madrid dominated all aspects of the encounter from the onset and throughout and had the Shaktar defence scrambling to protect their clean sheet early on.
The pressure finally told in the 30th minute, when Benzema scored his third of the season and his third in successive games to hand Madrid the lead.
Real continued pushing forward after play was restarted, but the only other notable incident in the first half was the booking of Shaktar midfielder Taras Stepanenko for repeated fouls.
The second half started slowly, but if Shaktar had any hope of playing their way back into the encounter it disappeared in the 50th minute when Stepanenko received his second yellow.
Things only got worse for the visitors from there, and Madrid were awarded a penalty when full-back Darijo Srna was ruled to have handled the ball in the box. Ronaldo stepped up and scored easily to double the lead.
Ronaldo’s second goal came soon after and in similar circumstances after another of Shaktar’s defenders handled in the box. The Portugal captain made Márcio Azevedo pay for his foul by once again converting the spot kick.
The rou,t and Ronaldo’s hat-trick, was completed in the 81st minute when the former Manchester United player rose highest at a corner to head home his 80th Champions League goal.
Madrid’s victory sees the club climb to first place in Group A, with Paris St Germain second after their 2-0 win over Malmo FF.