Last week Angel di Maria told Real Madrid's fans that they should be happy with a lack of goals as long as they win. Last night he struck in the 81st minute to ensure they beat Auxerre 1-0, but it's hard to imagine too many Real fans moaning about an away win in Europe.
The Argentine's goal came after he expertly brought down a cross from Mesut Ozil and drilled the ball across the Auxerre goalkeeper Olivier Sorin and into the net.
Auxerre were on the back foot throughout the match but proved dangerous on the break and under-pressure Real defender Pepe even headed the ball against his own post from a cross shortly before Di Maria broke the deadlock. Di Maria's strike meant Auxerre slumped to their second defeat from two in Europe while Real Madrid now top Group G having won both their games.
"It was a very difficult match, [Auxerre coach] Jean [Fernandez] prepared very well tactically," Real coach Jose Mourinho said. "It is important to have six points before playing Milan, but a draw would maybe have been logical."
In the group's other game Milan came from behind to take a point away at Ajax. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored in the 37th minute after Mounir El Hamdaoui had given the Dutch side the lead.
Bayern Munich beat Basle 2-1 in Switzerland. Basle went ahead with a superbly crafted goal in the 18th minute when Marco Streller held off his marker and flicked the ball to Alexander Frei, who curled his effort past Hans-Jorg Butt.
Bayern levelled in the 56th minute when Benjamin Huggel tangled with Thomas Mueller in the penalty area. The Swiss clearly played the ball but the referee gave a penalty and Schweinsteiger buried the spot-kick. He then crept in at the far post to snatch an 89th minute winner.
In the group's other game, Roma got the better of CFR Cluj 2-1. Substitute Marco Borriello scored what proved to be the decisive goal with a trademark volley.Reuse content