CL: Eden Hazard's return is timely for Real Madrid
Real Madrid star forward's timely return to form augurs well for struggling Zidane-coached side as they look to seal knock-out berth against Galatasaray
Madrid: Eden Hazard is beginning to show glimpses of his best form and it cannot come soon enough for Real Madrid. They play at home to Galatasaray in the Champions League tonight, when victory would put them within touching distance of qualification from Group A. Hazard has endured a disjointed and disappointing start in Spain, where expectations soared following his long-awaited 100-million euro move from Chelsea in June.
Bad luck phase
A week later, 50,000 thousand fans streamed into the Santiago Bernabeu to see Hazard wear the shirt. But the grand opening fizzled, in part due to events off the pitch, a combination of bad luck and personal circumstances that have spared Hazard, 28, harsher critique from fans and journalists alike. But the international break checked Hazard's momentum and he missed Madrid's first match back, a 1-0 loss away at Mallorca, due to the birth of his fourth child. In the three games since, he has appeared in bursts, delivering exhilarating moments like the glorious flick inside against Galatasaray and a run in behind to win the penalty against Leganes.
Back in form
Hazard's most impressive showing so far was arguably against Real Betis last weekend, when Madrid failed to score but he had his exuberance back, not to mention the change of pace that at times has appeared worryingly absent. Few doubt Hazard will soon rediscover his peak, certainly not Zidane, who insists goals are all he needs. Real Madrid need them too.
Live on TV
Real Madrid v Galatasaray: Sony Ten 1 & Ten 1 HD, 01:30 (Thurs)
Lokomotiv v Juve: Sony Ten 2 & Ten 2 HD, 23:25
PSG v Club Brugge: Sony Ten 3 & Ten 3 HD, 01:30 (Thursday)
Atalanta v Man City: Sony Ten 2 & Ten 2 HD, 01:30 (Thursday)
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