Real Madrid 4 - 1 Ajax (Champions League, Day 6)

The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium remains the undefeated fortress that it has been during the past two Champions League campaigns. Although Real Madrid were already qualified for the round of 16, their badge brings with it an inherent competitiveness to every match, in every competition. They performed perfectly and were led by Modric, who played what was possibly his best match since arriving in the Spanish capital. In less than half an hour the Whites had already decided the match with two goals. The first came from Ronaldo in the 13th minute and the second from Callejon in the 28th minute and they had also crashed the ball against the post through Coentrao. In the three passages of play the Croatian played a key role. At the beginning of the second half today’s captain, Kaka, joined the show and scored the match’s most spectacular goal and Real Madrid’s 950th in European competition. Boerrigter reduced the arrears for the Dutch side, which despite the defeat achieved their aim of qualifying for the Europa League, and Callejón capped off the scoring in the 88th minute. The Whites now wait to find out their opponents in the round of 16. In two weeks they will find out.

Kaka playing against Ajax
Kaka played and scored again for Real Madrid

Real Madrid, having already qualified for the round of 16, finished the group stage by playing against Ajax for the sixth time in the last three seasons. The history of the previous five matches foretold of the Whites’ victory and their on-field efforts met with those expectations. With academy player Nacho, who made his Champions League debut, in the starting line-up, the Whites blew the opposition away in the opening stages and only thirteen minutes in they had already had a Benzema goal disallowed in the 7th minute, hit the post through Coentrao in the 10th and also gone ahead on the scoreboard. Cristiano Ronaldo was the scorer, although Modric may deserve some of the credit for the steal that he made before giving the ball to Benzema. The Frenchman, after bringing the high ball under control, set up the Portuguese.

The match could not have been going better for the home team, who were close to scoring the second from a solo Benzema run, but a Coentrao suffered from a pulled muscle and Mourinho was forced to make the first change of the match in the 21st minute. Pepe replaced his compatriot. The Whites continued with their positive momentum and before the half hour mark they managed to widen the gap on the scoreboard. Modric saw Callejon lose his marker and put him through with a pass from inside his own half. The academy player did not waste the Croatian’s gift, and, after bringing the ball down and setting himself, he hit the ball into the far corner beyond Vermeer in the 28th minute. 2-0. Real Madrid, guided by Modric, were putting on a show for their fans to enjoy and they also managed to completely cancel out Ajax’s efforts and they finished the first half without having had a shot on goal.

The second half began with a gift to the Real Madrid fans. With just four minutes played today’s captain, Kaka, received the ball on the edge of the box and pulled a left-footed shot out of the hat and Vermeer could only watch as the Brazilian’s shot threaded its way through the crowd and nestled in the back of his net. The goal had added significance because it was the Whites’ 950th goal in European competition.

Boerrigter, with a volley, reduced the gap in the 60th minute and Callejon put the icing on the cake for the home team in the 88th minute after heading home a precise cross from Morata. Both teams achieved their aims. Ajax qualified for this season's Europa League (the final will be played at the Amsterdam Arena) and Real Madrid finished the group stage with a win and are unbeaten in their stadium for a ninth consecutive match. The Whites now wait to find out who they will face in the round of 16. They will find out in two weeks.


Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu
Attendance: 58,000
Goals: 1-0, m.13: Cristiano Ronaldo. 2-0, m.28: Callejon. 3-0, m.49: Kaka. 3-1, m.60: Boerrigter. 4-1, m.88: Callejon.

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