Champions League - Real Madrid outclass Ajax

Real Madrid beat Ajax 3-0 to stay top of Group D in an enthralling Champions League match at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Ajax more than played their part and created more than their fair share of chances, but Real were at times irresistible and scored three times in 25 minutes.
Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring after 25 minutes, Kaka added a second shortly before half-time with an excellent effort and Karim Benzema put the game to bed just after the restart with a simple finish.
Ajax had more possession and 18 shots on goal to Madrid's 13, but were far too open defensively to deny the likes of Ronaldo, Kaka and Mesut Ozil.

Real started the game slowly and it was Ajax who created the first chance within a minute of the whistle with Derk Boerrigter hitting a first time effort from the edge of the box following a deflected cross that Iker Casillas did well to save at his near post.

It was the Dutch side again who fashioned the next opening, though it was a mistake from the Real defence that allowed Siem de Jong to break into the area. His attempt was again blocked well by Casillas, who came off his line well to cut down the angles.

What followed though was an absolute torrent of opportunities for Madrid in the space of 10 minutes. Benzema first missed a sitter after a pull-back form Sami Khedira, putting it past the far post with just two men on the line to beat. Ronaldo had the next glimpse of goal, but Kenneth Vermeer came out well to smother the effort and Ozil's follow up.

Gregory van der Wiel almost then put it in his own net after getting a head to a cheeky half-volleyed back-heel from Ronaldo, but Vermeer held on. A minute after that Benzema dragged a shot just wide of the far post after being played through by Ozil.

The incessant pressure finally told and on 25 minutes Real scored a beautiful goal. Ronaldo and Kaka played a couple of one-twos, moved the ball on to Ozil who shifted it out wide to Benzema. His first time cross was met by Ronaldo who lashed it into the net from 10 yards.

The game entered a bit of a lull following the goal, but three minutes from the end of the half Kaka added a second. Xabi Alonso hit one of his many raking passes out wide to Ronaldo, who played inside to the Brazilian. From the edge of the box and on his weaker foot he blasted past the despairing dive of Vermeer and into the far corner.

Benzema bagged Real's third within minutes of the start of the second half. It was another well crafted goal, instigated by Alvaro Arbeloa. He got down the left wing and delayed play, waiting for the onrushing Kaka before playing a perfectly weighted pass into the former World Player of the Year's feet. Quick footwork shifted the ball across goal to Benzema and his task was simple.

Ajax created further chances after that with Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen twice going close. The best chance was the second effort from Vertonghen, his thumping header when completely unmarked seemingly destined for the net, but denied by a world class save from Casillas.
The game had already gone by this point though and Real were happy to see the game out and keep the clean sheet.

Thomas Embury-Dennis / Eurosport