Real Madrid opens Spanish league with 3-1 win over Celta

Real Madrid's Luka Modric, centre, shoots during La Liga soccer match between Celta and Real Madrid at the Balaídos Stadium in Vigo, Spain, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Luis Vieira)

Karim Benzema has scored a goal and set up another as Real Madrid began its Spanish league campaign with a comfortable 3-1 win at Celta Vigo

MADRID — Karim Benzema scored a goal and set up another as Real Madrid began its Spanish league campaign with a comfortable 3-1 win at Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Toni Kroos and Lucas Vázquez also scored, as Madrid played most of the second half with 10 men following a red card to Luka Modric.

Madrid was without new signing Eden Hazard because of an injury, and it was Gareth Bale — who many thought would be gone from the squad by now — who helped add the spark Madrid needed in attack.

He set up Benzema's opening goal early in the first half, then Kroos added to the lead with a superb long-range shot five minutes after Modric was sent off with the help of video review. Substitute Vázquez sealed the victory after a pass by Benzema near the end of the match in Vigo.

It was Madrid's first away win since Zinedine Zidane returned as coach late last season.

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