Real Madrid beats Ajax 4-1 in Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring as Real Madrid eased to a

4-1 home victory over Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Already through to the knockout stages from Group D, Madrid took

the lead in the 13th minute when Luka Modric won the ball in

midfield and passed to Karim Benzema, who crossed for Ronaldo to

hit his sixth goal of the competition this season.

Jose Callejon doubled Madrid’s lead by beating the offside trap,

deftly controlling Modric’s pinpoint long pass and firing in off

the post in the 28th minute.

Kaka added a third in the 49th before Derk Boerrigter pulled a

goal back for Ajax, firing into an empty after pouncing on a

punched clearance by Madrid goalkeeper Antonio Adan.

Callejon scored his second goal of the night in the 88th.

Madrid finished second in the group behind Borussia Dortmund,

while the only consolation for Ajax was a place in the Europa

League.

Kaka looks to have re-established his place in coach Jose

Mourinho’s squad after a few months on the bench, starting the

match as captain.

”This was an important match for me,” said Kaka. ”I scored a

goal and helped the team. It was a special night for me.”

The Brazil midfielder said his team is ready to face any

opposition.

”Come February, we will likely have to play against a difficult

team that came top of its group and probably thought it would get

an easy rival,” said Mourinho. ”Now some table-topping team is

going to get Real Madrid instead.”

”What’s in our thoughts at the moment is this championship and

the Copa (del Rey),” added Mourinho, deliberately not mentioning

the Spanish league in which it trails leader Barcelona by 11

points.

The home side soon pushed forward and Benzema had a goal ruled

out for offside in the seventh minute, while Fabio Coentrao hit the

near post four minutes later.

Although Ajax had started brightly, passing the ball with speed

and accuracy, Madrid’s midfield strength and finishing ability soon

began to take its toll on the Dutch side as Ronaldo and Callejon

found the net.

Coentrao meanwhile looked progressively more uncomfortable and

appeared to have a problem with his hamstring before being

substituted at the back by fellow Portugal international Pepe in

the 23rd minute.

Madrid could have been 3-0 up at the break as Benzema picked out

Modric in midfield and the Croat fired in a volley that goalkeeper

Kenneth Vermeer managed to stop in the 41st minute.

Having traded goals after the re-start, Callejon scored his

second from a pinpoint cross from the far right by Alvaro

Morata.