Gareth Bale, Real Madrid ease to 5-1 win over Legia Warsaw

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Gareth Bale scored the opening goal as Real Madrid eased to a 5-1 win over Legia Warsaw in the Champions League on Tuesday.

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Marco Asensio, Lucas Vazquez and Alvaro Morata were also on target for Madrid following a Tomasz Jodlowiec own goal, as the defending champions recovered from a draw on their previous matchday to keep pace with Borussia Dortmund atop Group F.

The visitors put an early scare into the Bernabeu when Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe hit the post squarely with a 12th-minute shot, but Real recovered immediately and Bale sent a shot inches wide on the counter-attack.

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Bale found the opener four minutes later, however, as he collected the ball on the side of the box and took on a defender before cutting towards the centre and curling a shot inside the far post.

It was 2-0 in the 20th minute when Karim Benzema pulled the ball back for Marcelo, whose low shot took a deflection off the heel of Jodlowiec before hitting the back of the net.

But seconds later, Madrid defender Danilo hacked down Miroslav Radovic in the box, and the striker sent Keylor Navas the wrong way on the resulting penalty to halve the deficit.

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Madrid were still in control and were queuing up around the penalty area before Cristiano Ronaldo gathered a cross from Danilo and teed up Asensio to score the hosts’ third goal in the 37th minute.

Legia were not giving up, however, and had a few promising attacks on either side of half-time that ultimately came to nothing, while Ronaldo was booked on 63 minutes for pulling down Bartosz Bereszynski.

But Zinedine Zidane felt comfortable enough with his lead to then take off James Rodriguez and Bale in favour of Vazquez and Morata, moves that paid dividends five minutes later when Vazquez fired home a cross from his fellow substitute on the volley to make it 4-1.

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Ronaldo, sitting on 98 European goals in his career, missed a gilt-edged chance to move closer to a landmark when he skewed a shot across goal in the 83rd minute, but he did well a minute later to play through Morata for Madrid’s fifth.

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