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Vintage Eden Hazard The Unexpected Hero Of Real Madrid's Victory Over Celtic

Real Madrid started its Champions League title defense Tuesday with a bittersweet 3-0 victory over Celtic in Scotland. Bitter because Karim Benzema suffered a worrisome knee injury, sweet because Eden Hazard showed up to become the night's unexpected hero, providing an assist and scoring a goal. 

The trip to Glasgow didn't start well for Real Madrid. The Bhoys put on a good performance in front of their fans and were close to upsetting the champions on a couple occasions.

Things turned a little nightmarish for the Spanish giants after the half-hour mark when Benzema had to leave the field with a knee injury that will need some tests back home to determine how serious it is. 

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Madridistas were unhappy and faith was at a low level when they saw Hazard coming on to replace Benzema. The Belgian's stint with Los Merengues has been far from memorable, but miraculously on Tuesday night, he had some sort of resurrection that at least was enough to rescue the team. 

Eden Hazard goal and assist vs. Celtic

Hazard's first intervention was a lovely pass that Vinícius Jr. couldn't solve properly. 

In the second half, Hazard's protagonism grew more prominent while playing as the No. 9! First, he huddled with the rest of his teammates to celebrate a beautiful goal by Vini.

Then, he took a supporting role by assisting Luka Modric for the 2-0 advantage. Hazard had a remarkable, vintage run toward the box before passing to the almost 37-year-old Modric, who sent the ball to the net with a fantastic trivela.  

And finally, the cherry on top: in the 77th minute, Hazard tapped a pass from Carvajal and celebrated his first goal since January and his first goal in the Champions League in almost two years.

Obviously, it's too soon to say that the old Hazard, the one that shone in Chelsea, is back. But for sure, it's good for Real Madrid fans to see some signs of life in his legs, especially in front of the uncertainty of having Benzema injured. 

Celtic FC vs. Real Madrid highlights

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