Champions League: Benzema brace helps Real Madrid maul Plzen

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In Santiago Solari's first Champions League match in charge of the club, the manager has to cater to the absences of Mariano Diaz, Marcelo, Jesus Vallejo, Raphael Varane and Dani Carvajal, who miss out through injuries.

"Today the players showed their quality - we saw some really attractive goals today".

Real Madrid scored four first-half goals to cruise past Viktoria Plzen and go top of Champions League Group G. Sometimes people don't really understand what I do on the pitch. "The most important game is the next one and in the game at the weekend you have to focus all of our efforts".

Casemiro made it two shortly afterwards by nodding in a Toni Kroos corner, and Benzema headed home himself in the 37th minute after Gareth Bale had found him unmarked just yards out.

"Julen is a great coach but we are with Solari now, and playing with more confidence", Benzema said.

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In fact, the 5-0 win for Madrid over Plzen is the biggest ever by a Spanish side away to a Czech team in European competition. Though landing major titles might be beyond the squad this season, they surely should be able to finish in the top four and make the knockout stages of the Champions League, creating a platform for the inevitable rebuilding that will take place in the summer.

Benzema opened the scoring in the 20th minute when he beat two defenders before slipping a shot through the legs of Plzen goalkeeper Ales Hruska to claim his 200th goal for Real.

But any hopes Plzen harboured of a shock win were wiped out with two quickfire goals in the 21st and 23rd minutes.

Real have won all three matches since Solari took over from Julen Lopetegui - including Wednesday 5-0 win in the Czech Republic - leading to speculation that his stay in the hotseat may not be temporary after all. Once they play with this seriousness, commitment and wanting to score.

Keylor Navas has kept only one clean sheet this season in the Champions League and conceded very shabby goals against CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen.