ISTANBUL (AP) France international Antoine Griezmann scored twice in the first half to help Atletico Madrid to a 2-0 victory over Galatasaray in their Champions League opener in Group C on Tuesday.

The 2014 finalists took the lead in the 18th minute when Griezmann guided a low cross from Juanfran past Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera with a precision first-time finish.

Griezmann struck again just seven minutes later, pouncing from close range after Diego Godin rose highest to nod Koke's cross back into the danger zone.

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The two strikes were a fair reward for a half that Atletico had started with real intent, with Luciano Vietto twice testing Muslera with long-range efforts in the early stages.

Wesley Sneijder came closest to reducing the deficit in the first half, drawing a save from Jan Oblak with a powerful shot.

But Atletico could have even have grabbed a third just before the break, with Muslera saving a powerful header from Jose Gimenez.

Galatasaray piled on the pressure in the second half but failed to find a way through, despite shots from Sneijder and Burak Yilmaz, while Griezmann could even have brought up a hat trick.

Oliver Torres sent the Frenchman through on goal in the 84th minute but his right-footed strike from 12 yards (meters) was kept out by Muslera.

''We knew it was important to get off to a good start, and we're very happy with the three points,'' Griezmann said.

Benfica beat Astana 2-0 in the night's other Group C game.