Spanish giants Real Madrid got off to a winning start in their Champions League group here on Wednesday in a hard fought 1-0 win over Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb.
A second-half goal from Argentinian Angel di Maria was the difference between the sides, though, the hosts had goalkeeper Ivan Kelava to thank for restricting the damage.
Real had started brightly creating several early chances, Cristiano Ronaldo firing in a third minute left-footed volley that flew wide while in-form French striker Karim Benzema went close on two occasions but both efforts went over the bar.
Fabio Coentrao also had a narrow miss, breaking into the hosts’ area but his curled shot shaved the bar.
Dinamo, though, gradually came more into the game and whilst they found chances hard to come by they more than held their own and were deservedly all square at 0-0 at half-time.
Real, though, resumed their early dominance at the start of the first-half keeping home ‘keeper Kelava busy.
He had only just saved from Xabi Alonso when di Maria struck, superbly set up by Marcelo, in the 53rd minute.
Kelava kept the host in the match with several fine stops from Ronaldo and two from fullback Sergio Ramos as the Spanish side tried to ram home their advantage.
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