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Di Maria does it for Real Madrid in Zagreb

Spanish giants Real Madrid were made to work hard for their 1-0 Champions League win tonight. Jose Mourinho's men dominated proceedings against Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia but had to play out the last 17 minutes with ten men after Marcelo was sent off for two yellow cards in the space of a few minutes - the second one for simulation.

Angel Di Maria was the goalscorer for Madrid when he received a ball from the aforementioned Marcelo, who had been spotted up by Karim Benzema, and swept it past Zagreb keeper Ivan Kelava and into the top left corner.

Madrid could have had more as Benzema was denied by the bar in the 11th minute and Kelava produced a world-class save to keep out Mesut Ozil around the half-hour mark.

Cristiano Ronaldo forced a good save from Kelava after Di Maria's goal before the Zagreb keeper came up with two more top class saves to deny Benzema and then Ronaldo again later in the match.

However, Madrid managed to record maximum points with a fairly dominant performance (24 shots on goal, 11 on target) to kickstart their Group B campaign in a positive fashion.

In the groups other match, French club Lille squandered a two-goal lead to be held to a 2-2 draw by Russian outfit CSKA Moscow.

Meanwhile, Madrid's La Liga opponents Villarreal lost their opening Champions League match 2-0 at home to German giants Bayern Munich.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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