Spanish Clubs in Europe: Matchday 2

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Spanish Clubs in Europe: Matchday 2
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Auxerre 0 - 1 Real Madrid

Angel di Maria came off the bench to fire in the winner for Madrid in a hard-fought tie away in France on Tuesday night. Di Maria scored a fine volley from Mesut Özil's cross with only nine minutes remaining to make it two wins out of two in this season's Champions League group stage.

In a group that also contains Ajax and AC Milan, there are no easy games for Madrid this time around, but six points from six heading into the double header with Milan gives Real a great chance of winning the group.

For a long time it looked like Madrid might endure another frustrating evening. Although they dominated possession and created several chances, it was a similar story to their La Liga away games where goals have been difficult to come by.

Cristiano Ronaldo was predictably in the thick of the action, with a couple of long range drives and a header going close, but was unable to break the deadlock. Higuain and Lass both had efforts blocked, while at the other end Auxerre had a couple of chances from set pieces. As the game entered the final 15 minutes, it looked as if both sides would have to settle for a share of the spoils, until di Maria's decisive arrival.

The second half introductions of Özil and di Maria proved to be a masterstroke from boss Jose Mourinho, as the two substitutes combined to score the only goal of the game, with a late block from Marcelo denying Auxerre and ensuring the game finished 1-0.

Next up for Madrid will be the visit of Milan on October 19th, a chance to avenge their 3-2 home loss to the Italian side in last year's group stage.

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