Madrid, Oct 24 (IANS) Real Madrid broke a string of poor results with a 2-1 win against Viktoria Plzen in a Champions League Group G match here.
Real, who lost four of their last five matches in all competitions, did enough here on Tuesday night to prevail and remain in the hunt for what would be a fourth straight Champions League title.
But the performance did not reassure supporters at the Santiago Bernabeu and may not be sufficient to preserve the job of beleaguered manager Julen Lopetegui.
Real Madrid and AS Roma are tied on points with 6 from three matches, 2 points ahead of CSKA Moscow and 5 better than Plzen.
Real Madrid began strongly and took a 1-0 lead just 11 minutes in with a Karim Benzema header that made the French international the fourth-leading scorer in Champions League history with 57 goals.
The hosts dominated throughout the first half, though without getting any more goals.
Things didn’t improve after the break and Lopetegui turned to his bench in the 54th minute, sending in newcomer Fede Valverde for Isco.
The move paid off within seconds, as the Uruguayan assisted on Marcelo’s goal to make it 2-0 for the Spanish club. Lucas Vazquez had a golden opportunity to get a third, but inexplicably missed an open net.
In the 78th minute, Plzen’s Patrik Hrosovsky scored to cut Real’s lead in half and the final minutes were uncomfortable for the home side and their supporters.