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.

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.