MADRID: Holders Real Madrid launched their Champions League defence in style by swamping Basel 5-1 at the Estadio Bernabeu to regain momentum after their domestic weekend beating by Liga neighbours Atletico.
Madrid recovered from successive domestic league defeats to rout the Swiss, who fell behind to an own goal from Marek Suchy (14) when the defender put a cross from Nacho into his own net.
Wales forward Gareth Bale made it 2-0 on the half hour with a superb finish over the goalkeeper after being put in by Luka Modric, with Cristiano Ronaldo (31) slotting home a third moments later and then £70million Colombian hitman James Rodriguez (37) sweeping in a fourth.
Derlis Gonzalez (38) netted a consolation on the break, before Karim Benzema (79) completed the comprehensive victory late in the second half, crashing his shot off the bar following another quick counter.
The other Group B game saw Liverpool struggle to beat Ludgorets 2-1 with a first goal from Mario Balotelli and a late penalty from skipper Steven Gerrard.
In Group D Galatasaray striker Burak Yilmaz netted a stoppage-time equaliser to deny Anderlecht a first away Champions League win for nine years.
Anderlecht – who have finished bottom in all seven group stage campaigns since they reached the last 16 in 2000-01 – looked on course for a hard-earned victory after taking the lead early in the second half through Dennis Praet.
Aleksandar Mitrovic missed a great chance to make it 2-0 moments later, which ultimately proved costly as Yilmaz crashed home following a powerful run by Aurelien Chedjou to earn the hosts a share of the points.
The other game saw Borussia Dortmund punish below-par Arsenal 2-0 in the Ruhr with goals either side of half-time from Ciro Immobile and Pierre-Emerick Aubamey.
In Group A, Carlos Tevez scored both goals in Juventus’ 2-0 win over Malmo.
Argentina’s former Manchester United and City forward ended his long European goal drought with a first since 2009 after a neat finish just before the hour, and then added another with a late free-kick.
Olympiacos topped the initial table after beating last season’s runners-up Atletico Madrid 3-2 at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium.
Arthur Masuaku (13) and Ibrahim Afellay (31) looked to have put the Greeks in control.
Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic (38) got Atletico into the tie again before half-time with a goal on his Champions League debut, but Kostas Mitroglou – loaned back from Fulham – restored the two-goal cushion with 17 minutes left.
Antoine Griezmann (86) set up a nervy finish, but the home side saw out the closing stages for what could yet prove a valuable victory.
In Group C, Zenit St Petersburg recorded a 2-0 win away at 10-man Benfica.
Brazilian Hulk set Andre Villas-Boas’ men on their way after just five minutes, before, on 18 minutes, Benfica goalkeeper Artur was shown a red card for a professional foul on Danny.
After former Benfica midfielder Axel Witsel (22) headed in a second goal, it was damage limitation for the Portugese side.
Monaco, back in the Champions League group stages for the first time since the 2004-05 season, secured a 1-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen at the Stade Louis II with a second-half goal from Joao Moutinho.