Ajax Amsterdam 0 - 3 Real Madrid (UCL Day 6)

Real Madrid sealed a perfect run in the UCL group stage in Amsterdam. The Whites earned a 15th straight victory against Ajax, something they hadn't done since the 1960/61 campaign. The Dutch team had two goals wrongly disallowed and were eliminated from the championship due to Olympique Lyonnais' 7-1 victory over Dinamo Zagreb. With 18 points and a +17 goal-average, Real Madrid have had the best performance given by any team in the Champions League group stage.

Higuain scored again in an European game

Mourinho made several changes to his starting lineup, with Adan, Albiol, Varane, Sahin, Granero and Callejon all playing as starters. The manager said earlier this week that his men would be entirely focused on winning the clash and they proved him right by scoring 13 minutes into the game: Kaka saw Callejon running free from markers, assisted him, and the midfielder tallied the first strike of the evening with his left.

Ajax pressurised more intensely and Van der Wiel forced Adan to make a save on the 31-minute mark with a powerful shot from outside the box. Lodeiro scored from the following effort, but referee De Sousa wrongly disallowed it following instructions from his linesman. Another local goal was wrongly disallowed four minutes later; it came from a long shot by Anita that was deflected inside the box by Sulejmani.

This forced Real Madrid to pull rank and finish off the game. Benzema saw how Higuain avoided his markers and assisted him with a long pass (41') in an effort similar to the first goal's.

Ajax were constantly putting a siege on Madrid's goal after half-time and nearly tallied a strike from a Sulejmani lob that hit the crossbar. Mourinho strengthened his midfield making Altintop come on for Benzema (53’) and later replaced Granero with Alonso (58').

Ajax continued to put Adan to the test with shots from outside the area, while Mourinho allowed youth teamer Mendes to make his first team debut by taking Arbeloa off (66'). The final minutes of the clash were pure agony for the locals and Callejon sentenced it on the 91-minute mark after being assisted by Alonso.


Stadium: Amsterdam Arena
Attendance: 52,000
Goals: 0-1. Min.13. Callejón. 0-2. Min. 41. Higuaín. 0-3. Min. 91. Callejón.


Sporting Gijon 0 - 3 Real Madrid (Spanish League Day 15)

Real Madrid pulled rank in Gijon and earned a solid victory over Sporting with goals from Di Maria, Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo. The Whites were superior despite the absence of Xabi Alonso and proved to be in excellent form one week before the Clasico.

Di Maria opened the lock with his goal

Mourinho made Lass take Alonso's place and positioned Coentrao as a right back. The Portuguese manager knew Sporting were going to play a tough game that would tire his men by forcing them to over-exhert themselves physically. The locals stayed in their half of the pitch waiting for the Madridistas to make mistakes, and Real hardly found any room to manouvre and connect with Higuain through the defensive line. Neither side had chances on goal until a Di Maria shot on the 19-minutre mark was impressively cleared by Juan Pablo. The Whites continued to dominate as the minutes passed, but no goals were scored.

Then, in the 34th minute, Di Maria stole the ball from an overly confident Damian, entered the box and, when everyone expected him to pass it back to a teammate, he surprised Juan Pablo with a solid shot. The goal forced the locals to start attacking more and to abandon their ultra-defensive system. Sporting started to challenge Casillas on occasion, but the goalkeeper saved all their shots with relative ease.

The locals hardly took risks after half-time and looked for chances to attack by way of Real Madrid mistakes rather than their own merits. Botia had the clearest chance in the 59th minute with a header that missed the mark. Soon after that, Di Maria served a spectacular assists to Cristiano Ronaldo, who controlled the ball and nutmegged Juan Pablo to tally the team's second strike of the evening (64'). This was the Portuguese player's 17th goal in La Liga this season.

Preciado made changes to his team trying to cut distances short, but things actually started looking worse for the locals. Higuain nearly scored a third in a one-on-one (70'), and three minutes later Albiol came on for Di Maria, who had clearly been the man of the match. Benzema replaced Higuain two minutes after that.

The remainder of the clash was somewhat easy going for Real. Casillas hardly felt threatened and Eguren was sent off with a double booking on the 79-minute mark. Kaka came on and nearly scored in the 88th minute, but Juan Pablo managed to send the ball out to corner-kick. Benzema also came close to tallying a third strike, which was eventually scored by Marcelo following an amazing individual effort.


Stadium: El Molinon
Attendance: 27,000
Goals: 0-1. Min. 34. Di María; 0-2. Min. 64. Cristiano Ronaldo; 0-3. Min. 90. Marcelo.
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