Eden Hazard scored his first goal for Real Madrid in sublime fashion as Zinedine Zidane’s team earned a welcome 1-0 pre-season victory at Salzburg.
Hazard, who arrived in the close season from Chelsea for a fee which could reportedly reach £130million, lit up proceedings in the 19th minute with a brilliant curling effort as Los Blancos continued their preparations ahead of their LaLiga opener away to Celta Vigo on August 17.
The Belgium international’s strike made it back-to-back successes for Madrid after victory over Fenerbahce in their previous outing, but they were far from their fluent best at the Red Bull Arena.
There was again no place in Zinedine Zidane’s squad for Gareth Bale, who recently saw a move to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning collapse, while midfielder James Rodriguez was another notable omission. Madrid’s marquee addition Hazard gave a glimpse of his star quality when he latched onto Karim Benzema’s throughball before cutting onto his right foot and whipping a superb curling shot inside the post.
It was a rare moment of class in an otherwise largely uneventful game, which still left question marks over the form of the Spanish giants, who have lost to Bayern Munich, rivals Atletico Madrid and Tottenham ahead of the new campaign.
Takumi Minamino missed a golden chance for Salzburg at when Andreas Ulmer’s deep cross found him unmarked at the back post, while Patson Daka spurned a glorious opportunity to pull the hosts level after the break when he was sent clean through and fired over.
Luka Jovic replaced Hazard in the 62nd minute and nearly doubled Madrid’s advantage, but he was unable to beat goalkeeper Carlos in the best opening before the final whistle.