Ronaldo, Bale take pressure off Benitez
Real Madrid survived an astonishing comeback from Shakhtar Donetsk to win their Champions League game in Ukraine 4-3 and top their group.
They were 4-0 up and coasting with 12 minutes left but the Ukrainians scored three in 10 minutes to leave Rafa Benitez fuming on the touchline.
Until the final nervous moments of the game the Madrid coach had basked in the glory of having done things his way and seen his team play far better than they had in that humiliating Clasico at the weekend.
Cristiano Ronaldo got the team’s first and fourth goals and has now scored in 200 official matches for the club. But it was the team performance that saw the Spanish side race to such a convincing lead that will have pleased Benitez.
He had crammed all his expensive superstars into his team selection at the weekend. But for this one he picked a side with far greater balance to it and with Bale outstanding on the left of the front two alongside Ronaldo Real were a force once more going forward.