Real Madrid edged Viktoria Plzen to buy manager Julen Lopetegui some breathing room after a five-game winless streak.
MADRID (AP) – Real Madrid beat Viktoria Plzen 2-1 in the group stage of the Champions League on Tuesday in a narrow victory that did little to ease the pressure on embattled coach Julen Lopetegui.
Karim Benzema and Marcelo scored a goal in each half for Madrid as the three-time defending European champions ended a five-match winless streak in all competitions, but Lopetegui's team struggled at times at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
The new coach will have another chance to quiet his critics - maybe his last - in the ''clasico'' against Barcelona at Camp Nou Stadium in the Spanish league on Sunday.
Madrid has six points in Group G after three matches. Roma, which defeated CSKA Moscow 3-0 at home in the other group match, also has six points.
Madrid had lost four of its last five matches, including a 1-0 defeat at CSKA Moscow.
Benzema opened the scoring with an 11th-minute header and Marcelo added to the lead from inside the area in the 55th after a neat back-heel pass by Gareth Bale.
The visitors, who had some good scoring chances in the first half, pulled one closer with a 79th-minute goal by Patrik Hrosovsky