ISTANBUL, Oct 23 — A goal from German midfielder Toni Kroos gave Real Madrid their first win of this season’s Champions League with a 1-0 victory at Galatasaray yesterday.
Eden Hazard cut the ball back to Kroos in the 18th minute, whose side-footed effort found its way into the roof of the net via a deflection. The win means Madrid climb up to second in Group A, but five points behind leaders Paris St Germain.
Zinedine Zidane’s side were without Gareth Bale and Luka Modric. However, Galatasaray were also missing a talisman of their own as Colombian striker Radamel Falcao did not feature due to an ongoing injury.
The home side were still able to test their illustrious visitors, with Florian Andone forcing under-fire Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois into action twice early in the first half.
“The first half was a little too much end to end for our liking but we controlled the second half much more. I had no self doubts. I know my goalkeeping abilities. The only criticism I’ll listen to is the constructive kind,” said the Belgian stopper.
But shortly after, Kroos marked his 100th Champions League appearance with his second goal of the season to give Madrid the lead.
Galatasaray pressed for an equaliser but could not find a way past the 13-times champions who held on to claim their first clean sheet in the competition in 11 months.
“We defended very well and attacked really well. We needed to produce a great performance and we’ve done just that,” Zidane said.
The Turkish champions are bottom of the group with one point from three games and look all but out ahead of their trip to Madrid on November 6.
Madrid have four points and a break of one week until they face Leganes in La Liga due to their Clasico against Barcelona being postponed from this weekend due to protests in Catalonia. — Reuters