Toni Kroos strike gives Real Madrid 1-0 win over Galatasaray

AP , Tuesday 22 Oct 2019

Real Madrid's German midfielder Toni Kroos (R) celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League group A football match between Galatasaray and Real Madrid on October 22, 2019 AFP

Real Madrid took a big step toward salvaging its Champions League campaign Wednesday with a 1-0 win over Galatasaray.

Eden Hazard set up Toni Kroos for the winning goal in the 18th minute, but Madrid struggled to impose its authority on the Turkish hosts for long periods of the game.

After earning one point from its first two Champions League games, the win lifts Madrid into second place in Group A behind Paris Saint-Germain and two points clear of third-placed Club Brugge.

PSG beat Brugge 5-0 away in the other group game Tuesday.

Galatasaray nearly took the lead early on when Florin Andone got in behind Madrid's defensive line but saw his shot saved by Thibaut Courtois.

The Belgian goalkeeper stopped another Andone effort from a corner soon after when Marcelo failed to intercept a pass.

Madrid came into the game off a defeat to Mallorca in the Spanish league and coach Zinedine Zidane made six changes to the starting lineup. Most crucial was the introduction of Hazard, whose fine cut-back pass set up Kroos to score with a deflected shot after Galatasaray had given the ball away cheaply in defense.

Hazard could have made it 2-0 but hit the bar in Madrid's best chance of the second half.

Goalkeeper Fernando Muslera was key to Galatasaray keeping Madrid at bay, making good saves to deny Karim Benzema on two occasions.

The loss leaves the Turkish champion last in Group A, with little hope of qualifying, and under increasing pressure as it sits sixth in its domestic league.

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