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.

Real’s Karim Benzema, right, celebrates with his teammates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the Champions League, group G, soccer match between Real Madrid and Viktoria Plzen at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul White)

The new coach will have another chance to quieten his critics — maybe his last — in the “clasico” against Barcelona at Camp Nou Stadium in the Spanish league on Sunday.

Real’s Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the Champions League, group G, soccer match between Real Madrid and Viktoria Plzen at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul White)

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.

Real coach Julen Lopetegui gives instructions to his players during a Group G Champions League soccer match between Real Madrid and Viktoria Plzen at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Madrid had lost four of its last five matches, including a 1-0 defeat at CSKA Moscow.

Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas, left, makes a save in front of Plzen midfielder Patrik Hrosovsky, right, during a Group G Champions League soccer match between Real Madrid and Viktoria Plzen at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

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.

Real’s Marcelo, left, celebrates with his teammates after scoring his side’s second goal during the Champions League, group G, soccer match between Real Madrid and Viktoria Plzen at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul White)

The visitors, who had some good scoring chances in the first half, pulled one closer with a 79th-minute goal by Patrik Hrosovsky

Real defender Marcelo, right, celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during a Group G Champions League soccer match between Real Madrid and Viktoria Plzen at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

___

Real’s Marcelo celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the Champions League, group G, soccer match between Real Madrid and Viktoria Plzen at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul White)

Source: The Associated Press

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.