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UEFA Champions League
27 September 2011
• Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
Referee: M. Clattenburg
• Attendance: 70320
I'm Roger Gonzalez, and it has been a pleasure. Real Madrid win 3-0 to remain on top of the group, and Ajax have one point from two games. Have a wonderful rest of your day, and be sure to check out the match report and ratings of the contest in moments, courtesy of the fantastic Stefan Coerts.
That's all from Madrid as the home side win 3-0 over the Dutch giants. Ajax had their chances, but Real Madrid dominated on the counter, taking care of their chances with fine finishes, all incorporating smart, efficient assists.
90' + 2'
Game over! A 3-0 victory to Real Madrid, courtesy of Kaka, Ronaldo and Benzema.
Two added minutes here as Casillas wastes time with the ball at his feet. Real Madrid take clear control of the group with the victory with two clean sheets in as many games so far in the group stage.
Real Madrid are going to win. Just a matter of time. The capital club are now playing the ball around at the back, eating up the minutes that remain. The fans want a fourth goal.
Serero tries his luck after cutting at the top of the box, but his low, soft effort is saved easily by Casillas.
Hamit Altintop comes on for Ozil to play the last five minutes.
Vertonghen is denied by Casillas!!!! Off a set piece, the defender flicks on a header do the back post, but the Spanish star does well with his right hand, hitting the ball wide after a diving to his right.
Well, that sums up the night for Ajax. Vertonghen is sent through on goal, alone, but Varane catches up with the defender, blocking his shot with a well-timed sliding tackle.
We have about 15 minutes left in the contest. Ajax are looking to play combos down the wing to free a player into space, but it still isn't working.
Ángel Di María
Kaka comes off as Di Maria comes on. Benzema joins the Brazilian and Gonzalo Higuain makes an appearance.
Angel Di Maria is set to come on the pitch.
Charles from Ghana on Twitter writes: no doubt Kaka is in a great form this night and it sends signals to the bench warmers. He was once the best player in the world.
Checking in on the other contest in the group, Lyon are up 2-0 with goals from Gomis and Kone, beating Dinamo Zagreb. If Real Madrid and the French side both end up winning, the Spanish would remain in first place with six points, two ahead of Lyon. Ajax would be in third place with one point, three behind Remi Garde's men. The Croatians would have zero points.
Kaka!!!!! Nearly bags a brace from inside the box after the pass from Ozil. From just behind the penalty spot, Kaka's curving, soft shot goes just by the right post.
Eriksen!!!!!! A left-footed effort from the top of the box flies by Casillas, but also the post. Still 3-0.
Ajax are looking to play down the left wing now, but they have little to show for it. A cross goes out for a corner, but the ball ultimately ends up in the hands of Casillas.
Thanks to Sani Aliyu sums up the woes of the Dutch: A comeback is almost impossible now...
On Twitter, Esquire Jay feels that Kaka is making a real statement, saying that Di Maria must step up in the coming games or the starting role will be Kaka.
The third goal has eliminated all doubts as to who will earn points in this contest. But, Real Madrid are not done. They continue to look for more goals, looking to match the 4-0 scoreline from last year's Champions League battle.
Here comes a chance for Ajax. Enoh comes on for Janssen.
Goal Karim Benzema
GOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL! IT IS BENZEMA!!! Arbeloa finds Kaka rushing into the box, and the Brazilian, instead of shooting on goal, gives it up to the France star, who hits the ball between a defender's legs and into the net for the 3-0 advantage.
Real Madrid are passing the ball around with ease in the middle of the pitch, seeming content to pick and choose carefully when they decide to attack.
The second half has begun!
The players are back on the pitch and ready to go.
Just minutes away from the start of the second 45 in Spain's capital. Ajax came out strong in the first half. They will look to do the same in the second and will need to if they want to get a result.
We will be back shortly with the second half. Can Ajax mount a comeback in 45 minutes to at least get a share of the points?
Five of the seven games being played at the moment have 2-0 scorelines, as Bayern Munich, Napoli, Manchester United, Lyon and Madrid all lead 2-0. Benfica and Lille are both up 1-0.
Your thoughts for the second half? Send them on Twitter to @RCGonzalez10
That's it. We have reached half time. Real Madrid go into the break with a 2-0 advantage.
Couple minutes before half time and Madrid are in cruise control. Before their last La Liga fixture on Saturday, the Spanish giants have gone two games without scoring. So far, eight goals in their last game and a half.
Assist Cristiano Ronaldo
GOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL REAL MADRID!!!!!!!! 2-0!!!!!! Kaka finds the net! Off a long ball, Ronaldo starts the attack on the left flank, finding the Brazilian on top of the box. The former Milan star settles well, drilling a low shot into the bottom right corner!
Varane has really impressed for Real Madrid as of late, bagging a goal in their last La Liga fixtures and showing his poise, skying for headers today, while shutting down the attack well.
Real Madrid are in full control at the moment, leaving the Dutch with little hope. Ajax have all the time in the world at the back, but in attack, the Madrid defenders are closing well with timely shifts and threatening tackles.
Ronaldo uses his speed to blaze down the left side of the field, finding Ozil on the top of the box. The German looked for the curling left-footed effort to find the netting on the right side, but instead the effort falls right to Vermeer, who saves the shot with ease.
With a half an hour gone, Ajax are now looking to level the score. The possession is there, but breaking down the defenders has been the issue. The Dutch are looking to play wide, but the diagonal through ball looks available as much space separates the Madrid defenders.
Well, after Ajax dominated the opening minutes, Real Madrid fight back to gain control with beautiful passing, leading to the counter and the goal.
Assist Karim Benzema
Goal Cristiano Ronaldo
GOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL! Just a brilliant effort by Real Madrid! It's Ronaldo!!!! A wonderful counter, Ronaldo starts the play, working with Kaka in the middle of the pitch. The former Milan man found Ozil streaking down the middle, who then found Benzema on the right wing, sending in a low cross that Ronaldo put into the bottom-right corner with a powerful shot!
Vermeer!!!!!! The goalkeeper comes out with speed to make a series of saves, one on Khedira after he denied Ronaldo one on one, then saving a near own goal as Van der Wiel headed the ball back towards the shot stopper.
Yellow Card Ricardo Carvalho
Yellow card for Carvalho after a handball as Ajax looked to go on the break.
How did he miss that? Ozil does well to send Khedira into the box, finding Benzema in the middle after Vermeer sped down the by-line to block off the German. The former Lyon hitman, with the open goal, sends his right-footed shot just to the left of the post and out of bounds. What a miss!
CASILLAS!!!!!!! A solid stop from the Madrid goalkeeper after an error by the defence allowed de Jong through to attempt a tough shot on goal, but the World Cup winner was quick to the ball to block the shot.
Vertonghen cuts of Ozil's pass with a swift move, again frustrating the Spanish club. Real Madrid can't do anything right with the ball thus far.
Real Madrid go on the counter after another threat by Ajax, but again, Jose Mourinho's men lose the ball while on the run.
Benzema drills the ball way over the goal from outside the box. Madrid had the ball deep in the Ajax defensive half, but the failure to send in quality crosses doomed the spell of possession.
Sigthorsson tries his luck with a shot from the top of the box, sending the ball into the right side of the stands. Why not take a chance there? Ajax continue to have all the early chances.
Van Der Wiel's cross from the right wing is deflected, falling right to Sergio Ramos, who clears the ball with all of his might. The Madrid defenders are clearly on their heels.
This time, the Spaniards give the ball to the ref, resulting in possession for Ajax, who managed to come up with the ball. All the momentum goes to the Dutch side in the first few minutes.
Real Madrid really can't settle the ball down here in the early going. Passes in the middle seem to find an Ajax player each time.
NEARLY A STUNNING OPENER!!!!!!!! Ronaldo loses the ball in the middle of the pitch after a nifty move, providing the counter to Ajax. The dutch side passed well to advance down the field, and Eriksen nearly beat Casillas from the top of the box with a right-footed shot to the bottom right corner.
The game has begun!
The captains greet the officials, shake hands, and here we go!
The two teams are moments away from stepping onto the pitch as we look set to start. Numerous Ajax fans in the stands showing their support with colourful flags. Quite the atmosphere in Madrid.
We are minutes away from the start of the match. Be sure to stay with Goal.com after the game and check out the player ratings and match report.
Ajax's starting XI: Vermeer; Van der Wiel, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Anita; Eriksen, De Jong, Janssen; Sulejmani, Sigthorsson, Boerrigter
The starting XI for the home side: Casillas; Ramos, Carvalho, Varane, Arbeloa; Xabi Alonso, Khedira; Ozil, Kaka, Ronaldo; Benzema
Remember to send your thoughts of the game via Twitter to @RCGonzalez10
The two teams are grouped together for consecutive seasons. Last term, Real Madrid beat Ajax 2-0 and 4-0 in the group stage, winning it with 16 points. The Dutch finished with seven points, one behind Milan, who finished second, qualifying for the knockout stage.
This is a Group D encounter. The Spanish club have three points after their first game against Dinamo Zagreb, beating the Russians with a goal by Angel Di Maria. The Dutch have one point after drawing Lyon 0-0.
Welcome ladies and gentleman to Goal.com's live coverage of the Uefa Champions League. I'm Roger Gonzalez, and I'll be providing updates from the match between Real Madrid and Ajax from the Spanish capital.
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