ZAGREB - Real Madrid began the quest to
win their 10th title in Europe's premier club competition with a
1-0 victory at Dinamo Zagreb in Champions League Group D on
Argentine winger Angel di Maria scored in the 53rd minute as
Real, playing in an unfamiliar all-red kit, finally beat the
inspired Ivan Kelava who produced a string of fine saves in
The only blot on the night for the Spanish team was the
73rd-minute dismissal of left-back Marcelo for diving in the
home penalty area. It was his second yellow card.
Coach Jose Mourinho, banned from the touchline, watched
Real's opening game of the campaign from high up in the stands.
"It was a good performance in a very difficult away match
and we are happy with getting the start we wanted," his
assistant Aitor Karanka told a news conference.
Dinamo, playing in the Champions League for the first time
since the 1999-2000 campaign, were not overawed by Real and
nearly scored in the second minute when Milan Badelj volleyed
over from a corner.
Cristiano Ronaldo spurned a good chance a minute later,
shooting wide of the far post from 10 metres when he had only
the 6ft 5in Kelava to beat.
Karim Benzema then twice went close for Real, his first shot
from a tight angle shaving the woodwork before Kelava kept
Dinamo on level terms with a brilliant double-save.
The keeper parried a Di Maria effort from close-range and
also kept out the rebound, a volley by Mesut Ozil, with a superb
Ante Rukavina almost gave Dinamo the lead against the run of
play when he shot straight at keeper Iker Casillas after he was
put clean through by a defence-splitting pass down the middle.
Real pinned back the home side after the restart and gained
their reward when Di Maria rifled in a left-foot shot from 12
metres after a well-worked move across the edge of the penalty
Ronaldo forced another excellent save from Kelava a minute
later, the keeper pushing a crisp low shot around the post
before also denying Di Maria.
Kelava then rescued Dinamo yet again by saving Benzema's
shot with his feet before keeping out a stinging Sergio Ramos
effort from 18 metres.
Dinamo piled on the pressure in the closing stages and were
almost caught on the break when Ronaldo took a long ball in his
stride and forced another stop from Kelava.
Ronaldo limped on to the team bus later having been the
target of a series of crunching tackles.
"I really don't understand why Dinamo's players had so much
protection from the referee while we had none at all," said the
"He tolerated hard tackling by Dinamo while he kept
reprimanding us for innocuous fouls."
Ronaldo was also sporadically teased by the home fans as
they chanted the name of his Barcelona rival Lionel Messi.
Stoke City and manager Tony Pulis part company by mutual agreement after seven years
Andy Carroll pulls out of England's friendly internationals against Ireland and Brazil
Manchester City and the New York Yankees have formed a new Major League Soccer team
Real Madrid president under scrutiny after latest coaching project ends in disarray
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010