After two defeats in three games in La Liga, the heat was well and truly on Real Madrid to produce something special against Basel in their Champions League opening, and boy did they do just that.
A 5-1 victory will have given Carlo Ancelotti a reason to feel a sense of relief, just three days after a derby defeat to Atlético.
The man at the centre of proceedings, as always was Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portugese netted once and was instrumental to Los Blancos attacking threat.
And in adding a 68th Champions League goal to his stats sheet, the former Manchester United man moved to within three goals of fellow Madrid legend Raul’s scoring record in the competition.
The form the two-time Ballon D’Or winner is in, it would take a brave man to rule it out happening.
A goal against Tuesday’s Swiss opponents, provided a third in three games in a Madrid team that had struggled to get going this season.
Newly promoted Deportivo La Coruna are up next in the Primera Division, providing Ronaldo with the perfect fodder to continue his scoring habits.
Hat-tricks haven’t been a rarity either since his switch to the Bernabeu. With 22 trebles since his move to the Spanish capital, there’s every reason to believe he could be taking the match ball home from their trip to Razgrad.
The Bulgarian champions did show they are no mugs against Liverpool on Tuesday, putting in a spirited performance, going down to a late Steven Gerrard penalty, having deservedly levelled with minutes remaining.
But a tie against the 10-time European champions will be a whole different matter, and with the likes of Bale, Benzema and Rodriguez to back up CR7, it could rain goals in the Balkans.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing
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