Benzema Scores Landmark Goal as Madrid Thrash Czechs

39;For me he is the best coach that I've had. Unfortunately he hasn't had that smidge of luck with us'

39;For me he is the best coach that I've had. Unfortunately he hasn't had that smidge of luck with us'

After a fine individual performance against Viktoria Plzen, which included his 200th goal for Real Madrid, Karim Benzema had a message for all those who criticise him.

Real Madrid interim coach Santi Solari said his players deserved all the praise after Wednesday's 5-0 Champions League Group A win at Viktoria Plzen, with several on the squad saying Solari should be have the job until at least the end of the season. "We live in permanent crisis all the time, even when we are winning the Champions League".

The La Liga side can qualify for the knockout stages with a draw against Roma in their next game, should CSKA Moscow fail to beat Plzen.

The opener came after Sergio Ramos escaped punishment for an elbow on Milan Havel, but there was no stopping the visitors as Casemiro extended their lead in the 23rd minute.

"We've done a lot of things well [in his three matches], but above all I see the seriousness and the desire to score".

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Benzema doubled his tally and set up Gareth Bale in the space of 144 seconds towards the end of the first half, and Toni Kroos floated a attractive 67th-minute chip home to wrap up the win and leave Plzen playing exclusively for third place.

Bale, denied earlier in the half through a Hruska save, joined Benzema and Casemiro on the scoresheet before the interval with a powerful finish at the back post following some good play from Ceballos down the left.

Solari made it clear that goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who was relegated to the bench on Wednesday, has all his respect and admiration despite being replaced by Thibaut Courtois.

With an eye on Sunday's trip to Celta Vigo, the second of four successive away matches, Solari introduced youngster Javi Sanchez for a European debut. So many can be scored with players of such quality.

Tomas Chory was denied a late consolation by a Courtois save, shortly before Bale sent a first-time shot against the bar, ensuring that Solari's men had a clean sheet to go with their third successive win under the stand-in boss.

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