- Real Madrid threw away a two-goal lead and needed a late Mateo Kovacic equaliser to avoid defeat
- Gareth Bale scored with a first-time left-foot strike from outside the area after only 58 seconds
- The Welshman's early goal was the fastest ever scored by Real Madrid in the Champions League
- Karim Benzema doubled the away side's advantage with a poke home from close range in the first-half
- Vadis Odjidja scored a wonderful solo goal to bring Legia Warsaw back into the game before half-time
- Miroslav Radovic poked home from the edge of the area to draw the home side level in the 58th minute
- Thibault Moulin sensationally put the home side ahead but Mateo Kovacic fired in an 85th minute equaliser
Gareth Bale scored the fastest goal in Real Madrid's Champions League history after just 58 seconds against Legia Warsaw, but Zinedine Zidane's team could not win their argument in an empty stadium drawing a bizarre encounter 3-3.
With their Polish hosts playing behind closed doors after crowd trouble in their 6-0 defeat by Borussia Dortmund there were just 150 Real Madrid supporters inside the Wojska Polskiego Stadium to see Bale's thumping, but elegant, volley from a Fabio Coentrao cross flicked on by Cristiano Ronaldo inside the first minute.
No sooner had UEFA shaken their flag in the centre-circle and blasted out their anthem in the surreal opening ceremony than Bale's volley hit the top of corner of Arkadiusz Malarz's net and save for around five ecstatic Spanish radio commentators screaming 'gol' and a gasp from those 150 Madridistas the strike bare broke the silence.
Real Madrid players celebrate after Gareth Bale scored a stunning opening goal against Legia Warsaw
Legia Warsaw's goalkeeper Arkadiusz Malarz is left powerless to keep Bale's first-time strike from hitting the back of the net
Karim Benzema doubled Real Madrid's advantage later in the first-half with a right-foot strike into the bottom corner
The French striker is surrounded by his team-mates after sending the European champions into a 2-0 lead
Vadis Odjidja scored a sublime solo goal for the home side to bring them back into the game before half-time
Miroslav Radovic races away to celebrate after equalising for Legia Warsaw after 57 minutes of the match
Thibault Moulin gives Legia Warsaw an 83rd minute lead with a thunderous strike beyond Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas
Brazilian midfielder Guilherme has his arms outstretched in celebration of Thibault Moulin's third goal for the home side
Legia Warsaw players celebrate after Moulin's 83rd minute strike put them on the brink of a historic win on Wednesday night
Dani Carvajal and Mateo Kovacic high-five eachother after the Croatian scored a late equaliser to spare Real's blushes
MATCH FACTS AND STATS
Most players ease up slightly after a signing a new contract but there was none of that from Bale in the first half.
With the ink barely dry on his £346,000 a week new six-year contract signed on Monday he lined up in a four-man forward line to the right of Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Alvaro Morata and he thrived in the freedom afforded him in Zinedine Zidane's new formation.
Madrid looked like punishing Legia Warsaw's fragile defence everytime they attacked and they should have put their opponents out of sight in the first half.
Bale made the second for Karim Benzema on 35 minutes when played in behind the full-back by the impressive Mateo Kovacic. He rolled the ball across the penalty area for the Frenchman to finish and double Madrid's lead.
The holders were not so impressive at the back however and with Fabio Coentrao getting a rare start at left-back it was no surprise that it was down his wing that Vadis Odjidja went a roaming before half time. With no one closing him down until he had the goal in his sights he was able to beat Keylor Navas with a finish almost as impressive as Bale's.
Navas was beaten again on 58 minutes, this time after Miroslav Radović poked a shot through his arms after another concentration lapse in the visitors' defence.
Madrid's free-flowing front four now looked far less threatening with Ronaldo and Morata trying to head the same ball and Benzema upset at being the man to make way as Zidane brought on Lucas Vazquez and tried to bring some order to the chaos he had created.
Madrid needed to defend their lead but still playing 4-2-4 after the substitution that was not easy and Thibault Moulin scored on 83 minutes with a shot that curled just inside the near post from Aleksandar Prijović's assist.
Suddenly a result that was unthinkable when Bale gave Real Madrid such an early lead looked a distinct probability now.
Madrid got back into it when Dani Carvajal back-heeled the ball into the path of Kovacic and he rifled in the equalizer with five minutes left but it had been a chaotic performance from Zidane's team.
Lucas Vazquez hit the crossbar with the last kick of the game but Real did not deserve the three points. Bale had convinced at one end, nothing for them had convinced at the other
Real Madrid pair Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale trudge off the pitch after the full-time whistle in Warsaw
Cristiano Ronaldo holds his arms out during the Group F clash between Real Madrid and Legia Warsaw
Legia Warsaw defender Michal Pazdan chases after Spanish striker Alvaro Morata as Real Madrid go on the attack
Welsh star Gareth Bale looks to skip beyond a challenge from Legia Warsaw's French midfielder Thibault Moulin
Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo looks to engineer some space while Michal Pazdan and Michal Kopczynski watch on
Zinedine Zidane watches on from the touchline as Real Madrid struggled in the second half away from home
The Champions League Group F clash between Legia Warsaw and Real Madrid was played in front of an empty stadium