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UEFA Champions League
October 3, 2012
• Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam
Referee: J. Eriksson
• Attendance: 49491
N. Moisander 56'
Cristiano Ronaldo 42', 79', 81'
K. Benzema 48'
That's all from me for tonight guys, I hope you enjoyed that match as much as I did. Be sure to join me for LIVE coverage of El Clasico on Sunday evening too! Good night everyone.
In the other game in Group D Mario Balotelli scored a late penalty to secure Manchester City a 1-1 draw at home to Dortmund, after Marco Reus had given the German side the lead earlier in the second half.
FULL-TIME: AJAX 1-4 REAL MADRID. Jose Mourinho's side have ran out comfortable 4-1 winners here, after a nervy fifteen minutes following Moisander's goal for Ajax that made it 2-1 early in the second half. Cristiano Ronaldo scored his second hat-trick in the space of week, while Karim Benzema scored the goal of the game with an outrageous overhead kick in the 48th minute. Madrid make it two wins out of two to go top of Group D, and look to be in fine form going into their Clasico match against Barcelona on Sunday.
90' + 3'
The referee blows his whistle to mark the end of the game.
90' + 2'
ANOTHER GOOD SAVE FROM VERMEER!!! The Dutchman dives to his right to tip Benzema's stinging drive round the post. The Ajax goalkeeper has been superb tonight, and he's still conceded four! Poor guy.
90' + 1'
Ronaldo is limping gingerly after falling to the turf under a challenge from Aldderweireld. Madrid fans will hope that's not serious! Their athletic forward has been in inspired form recently.
The set piece fails to beat the first man though, and Madrid have the ball in the centre of the pitch.
Arbeloa does well to head the ball behind for an Ajax corner under pressure from Boerrigter as the home side continue to attack.
I wonder if Barcelona are watching... Madrid have looked deadly tonight and on Sunday we have the first Liga Clasico of the season.
Madrid looks to be making it two wins from two in Group D. In the group's other game Dortmund still lead Manchester City 1-0, with just minutes left to go.
RONALDO NEARLY SCORES AGAIN!! Benzema opens up his legs to stop the ball from going out for a goal-kick, and after looking up picks Ronaldo out with a pinpoint pass. Daley Blind does brilliantly to throw himself in front of the Madrid man though, and deflect the ball out of harms way.
Eriksen curls it towards the near post but Benzema is back in his own box to head the ball away.
Ajax win a corner on the left as they look to somehow find a way back into the game, but there are only six minutes left on the clock, plus stoppage time.
4-1! Madrid had been on the back foot after Ajax scored their goal! How that has changed following a quick-fire brace from Cristiano Ronaldo.
Assist Sami Khedira
Goal Cristiano Ronaldo
GOALLL!! RONALDO AGAIN!! THAT'S HIS HAT-TRICK!! The striker completes his second hat-trick in the space of a week with a deft chip over Vermeer after being played in by a neat pass from the substitute Khedira. What a finish that was! Next up. Barcelona.
Assist Karim Benzema
Goal Cristiano Ronaldo
GOALLL!! RONALDO MAKES IT 3-1!! The Portugal international exchanges passes with Benzema twice on the left-hand side, before curling an effort past the dive of Vermeer and into the far corner from the edge of the Ajax box.
Off goes Essien for Khedira. The Ghanaian has looked off the pace tonight, and it is no surprise that Khedira is coming on as Madrid look to hold on to their lead.
That's silly from Babel! The Ajax forward gives away a cheap free-kick in the corner after pulling on Marcelo's shirt as the Brazilian shields the ball. That foul disrupts the momentum his side had begun to build.
Alderweireld hoofs a hopeful ball forward to Blind who is bombing forward on the left-hand side, but the pass is too long for the full-back and goes out of play for a Madrid goal-kick.
Kaka is afforded a standing ovation from the few Madrid fans in the Amsterdam ArenA as he makes way for Mesut Ozil. The Brazilian rolled back the years with his performance tonight, he was superb.
Boerrigter concedes a free-kick after shoving Pepe to the deck and then bundling into Arbeloa. Despite protesting to the referee, I think he knows he's given away one or possibly two fouls there, as he's got a smile on his face.
Ajax have come into the game after scoring through Moisander, they've been the better side in the last 15 minutes or so.
Elsewhere in Group D, Dortmund lead Manchester City 1-0 at the Etihad courtesy of a goal from Marco Reus.
Marcelo has taken a knock on his ankle after turning on it in the Ajax half and he looks to Mourinho to motion being replaced but the Madrid coach gestures for him to get on with it!
Fabian Mitchel Sporkslede
HOESEN HAS A CHANCE TO SCORE WITH HIS FIRST TOUCH!! Van Rhijn sends a fine ball into the Madrid box that evades De Jong's despairing dive but lands right at the feet of the young substitute. Hoesen should be testing Casillas but instead hits his shot high, high over the Madrid captain's crossbar.
Ajax look to be committing more men forward as they go in search of an equaliser, with Van Rhijn and Blind pushing up in their full-back positions.
Ajax are making their own change with Danny Hoesen, the recent signing from Fulham, coming on to make his debut for the club, replacing Tobias Sana.
GOOD STOP FROM VERMEER!! The Madrid substitute Di Maria cuts in from the right and slams a low left-foot shot towards the bottom corner that the Dutch keeper will be pleased to have kept out as he must have seen that late.
Blind goes marauding down the left for the home side and fires a dangerous ball into Boerrigter who attempts an ambitious first-time effort with his left foot that flies a foot or so over Casillas' crossbar as Ajax try and hit Madrid on the counter.
BRILLIANT PLAY FROM KAKA!! The Brazilian midfielder robs Blind of possession high on the right-hand side before whipping an inviting ball into the penalty area towards Benzema. The France international misconnects with the cross though, and heads the ball high over the bar.
Ángel Di María
Mourinho chooses to make a change, taking off the fairly ineffective Callejon and replacing him with Angel Di Maria, who was superb against Deportivo at the weekend.
Moisander's goal is Ajax's first against Real Madrid in their five recent meetings. How vital it might prove if the Dutch side went on to score again and secure a draw here.
The Denmark international's effort is headed away by Alonso in the Madrid wall, and the game is allowed to momentarily settle.
Yellow Card Michael Essien
Christian Eriksen looks like he fancies it...
Essien blocks De Jong's fizzing effort with his arms and Ajax have a free-kick 30 yards out. A chance to equalise perhaps!
Assist Christian Eriksen
Goal Niklas Moisander
GOALL!!!! AJAX HAVE PULLED ONE BACK!! The captain Moisander heads home from close range at the back post from Eriksen's corner to reduce the deficit after Essien had left the imposing defender unmarked. Game on?
CALLEJON BLASTS A SHOT OVER!! Xabi Alonso lifts a delicious pass over the Ajax defence to his Spanish team-mate, who opts to hit a first-time effort at goal from 25 yards that goes high over Vermeer's crossbar. Not a chance of that one finding the net!
It's far too comfortable for Madrid at the moment, Ajax are barely even pressing them in possession.
Marcelo is playing like a forward for the visitors in this second half, he's spending more time in the Ajax box than his own at the moment. He nearly slips Ronaldo through but the attempted pass is cut out by Van Rhijn and hacked away upfield.
Ajax just haven't offered anything going forward in this match so far. They have a huge job on their hands if they wish to get anything from this game, as Madrid look rampant.
That fabulous goal takes Karim Benzema to 15 in 18 Champions League matches. The Frenchman enjoys this competition it seems!
Goal Karim Benzema
GOALLL!!! WHAT A STRIKE FROM BENZEMA!! Madrid counter from that Ajax free-kick in a matter of seconds. Callejon slips the ball to Marcelo who races forward before spraying it out to Kaka on the right. The Brazilian sets himself before curling a cross to the back post to Benzema, who slams an emphatic overhead kick past Vermeer.
Sana switches the play to the left and Ajax immediately win a free-kick. Eriksen fires it straight into the wall though and Madrid have a chance to counter...
Ajax start the half with the ball, the two Christians, Eriksen and Poulsen, combining well in a central position before sweeping the ball out to Sana on the right.
Ajax get the ball rolling once more here in Amsterdam, with neither side making changes during the interval.
The two sides are making their way out on to the pitch for the second half here. Madrid won both games against Ajax 3-0 last season... Are we set to see a repeat of that scoreline tonight? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter, @charliefscott.
In the other match in Group D, Manchester City are drawing 0-0 with Borussia Dortmund at the Etihad.
Join me in ten minutes for the second half of this exciting Group D clash.
Ajax have failed to test Iker Casillas in the first half, and Frank De Boer may look to change things up during the half-time interval, with his front three of Boerrigter, Sana and Babel currently proving ineffective against Madrid's well-organised defence.
HALF-TIME: AJAX 0-1 REAL MADRID. Ajax's goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer did his utmost to keep the scores level going into the break but after making five fine saves in the opening 41 minutes he was eventually beaten by Cristiano Ronaldo. The Madrid attacker had Benzema, and a fortunate deflection into his path to thank for his goal, but instead he focused on the rest of his team after prodding the ball home, as he called them over to celebrate alongside him.
The referee has blown his whistle to mark the end of the half here, with Madrid leading 1-0.
The celebration for the goal was telling, Ronaldo beckoned his team-mates to come over and celebrate with him in front of their fans, when usually it is a very individual occasion when the Portuguese star finds the back of the net. Good team morale I say!
Madrid have the lead here, and you cannot say it is undeserved, they have controlled this opening half in Amsterdam.
Goal Cristiano Ronaldo
GOALL!!! RONALDO BREAKS THE DEADLOCK!! The 27-year-old prods home with the outside of his right foot from six yards out after Benzema's cross from the left side of the penalty area was deflected straight to him. The Frenchman did brilliantly to drive down the left wing and cut into the penalty area to get the assist there.
Our man in the stadium Floris Koekenbier has an update from the Amsterdam ArenA for you to enjoy: "Real Madrid is much stronger then Ajax in the first 30 minutes. A big chance by Ronaldo, after a silly pass of Christian Poulsen. Ajax isn't able to play their beloved combination football and Real is turning up the heat. A big chance for Kaka and a header from Serio Ramos just wide say it all. Ajax can thank goalie Vermeer that it's still 0-0."
Frank De Boer, on the other hand, will be delighted that his side are still in it!
Jose Mourinho must be scratching his head wondering how his side aren't in front here. Vermeer has made five very good saves now in this opening half.
VERMEER STOPS MADRID AGAIN!! Marcelo races onto a Callejon pull-back inside the Ajax box and hits a first-time effort towards goal that Vermeer does well to parry away from danger. The Ajax goalkeeper has been superb in this first half!
MUCH BETTER FROM RONALDO!! The Portuguese attacker comes within inches of giving Madrid the lead with a snapshot volley from the edge of the Ajax area after Callejon's cross was deflected into his path. Vermeer had lost his footing as Ronaldo hit that, if the shot had been a yard to the right it would have found the top left corner!
RONALDO HEADS STRAIGHT AT VERMEER!! Kaka is pulling the strings for the away side in this first half, and on this occasion he sets Ronaldo up with a fine cross from the left. Ronaldo should be heading back across goal as he meets the ball at the back post, but instead he sends a weak effort straight into the arms of the relieved Vermeer.
ANOTHER FLAT BALL!! I'm not sure what's going on here... There's another football that has just gone flat halfway through a Real Madrid attack. We are now onto our third of the evening. Third time lucky perhaps?
Eriksen tries to get a shot away from 25 yards but Sergio Ramos is in the young Denmark international's face and comfortably blocks the Ajax player's effort.
THE BALL IS FLAT!! Not a good advert for Adidas... We've had to bring a new ball into play at the Amsterdam ArenA, as the old one has just deflated on the pitch.
His deep, curling effort is heading towards Niklas Moisander at the back post, but Casillas is out off his line to punch the ball away. The Madrid goalkeeper is deemed to have been fouled during that punch, and the referee awards Mourinho's side a free-kick inside their own penalty area.
Boerrigter wins a corner for the home side off the legs of Arbeloa on the left, and Christian Eriksen now has a chance to test Madrid from the set piece.
A robust challenge from Van Rhijn stops another Madrid attack in its tracks, as Marcelo goes hurtling off the end of the pitch after being blocked off fairly by the young Dutchman.
Kaka, who has seen a lot of the ball so far tonight, dribbles down the left before stabbing the ball into the path of Marcelo, but the Brazilian full-back then wastes possession by trying to nutmeg Van Rhijn rather than playing a simple pass.
The whole Ajax team are in their own half defending at the moment, and it's only the 27th minute! Worrying scenes for the Dutch side.
Vermeer hoofs the ball long to Babel as Ajax look to change their approach, but it is easily handled by Ramos, the centre-back controlling the ball before casually passing it out of defence.
Ajax are struggling to get through Madrid's defence at the moment, and their final ball has let them down on a number of occasions so far. Boerrigter just had an opportunity to get at Arbeloa, but misjudged his control and gave the ball away.
Siem De Jong looks to test Casillas from distance but his shot is a long way from troubling the man making his 124th Champions League appearance.
VERMEER KEEPS ANOTHER SHOT OUT!! The Dutch goalkeeper makes another smart stop, as he gets down low to his right to palm out Kaka's deflected effort from the left side of the box.
It may still be 0-0 here, but don't expect the scoreline to stay that way for long. Madrid have notched up a 12-0 aggregate scoreline over Ajax during their last four meetings, with the Dutch side finishing third in the group stage of both of the last two Champions League competitions.
Van Rhijn has a chance to work the ball forward to Sana who is in a promising position on the right wing, but the full-back's pass is wayward and goes out of play on the far side.
Casillas does well to clear the ball away under pressure from Boerrigter after Arbeloa and Pepe combined to nearly stitch up their captain with some sloppy passes in defence. Iker doesn't look too pleased with them after that!
Madrid have slipped through a couple of gears in the last few minutes, with Kaka and Ronaldo causing the Ajax backline all sorts of problems in and around the penalty area.
RAMOS HEADS WIDE!! Alonso whips a corner straight on to the Spain international's forehead but his effort under little pressure drifts wide of Vermeer's left-hand post.
FINE DOUBLE STOP FROM VERMEER!! Seconds after stopping Ronaldo the Ajax goalkeeper keeps out two firm efforts from Kaka and then Benzema. What a start he has had to this game! He's keeping his side in it!
GREAT GOALKEEPING FROM VERMEER!! The Ajax number one comes rushing off his line to meet Ronaldo as the Madrid forward comes bearing down on his goal. Vermeer gets his body in the way of Ronaldo's effort and the ball balloons away from danger.
The away side have certainly made the brighter start here at the Amsterdam ArenA, but Ajax have still looked dangerous, with Babel, Boerrigter and Tobias Sana looking to stretch Madrid's defence whenever they can.
CLOSE CALL FROM THE LINESMAN!! The official on the near side raises his flag to stop play as Benzema looks to meet Ronaldo's throughball, and replays subsequently show that that was a wrong decision.
Poor Ronaldo. The attacker loses his footing as he looks to play a pass and his tumble to the deck is greeted with derisory jeers from the home crowd.
STAT: Real Madrid have been winning at both half time and full time in their last four matches against Ajax in all competitions.
Madrid keep up the pressure on Ajax, and win their third corner in as many minutes over on the right. Alonso takes it again, but overcooks the pass and it goes straight out the other side of the Ajax box. Disappointing stuff from Mourinho's side at set pieces so far!
Alonso curls the set piece in from the right but it doesn't clear the head of Toby Alderweireld, the Ajax defender heading the ball out of his own area and away.
A neat flick from Ronaldo sets Kaka away down the right, and the Brazilian wins a corner as his cross is deflected behind.
Ronaldo does hit the free-kick, but it goes straight into the Dutch side's well-positioned wall, before being cleared upfield.
Guess who fancies taking it?
Ricardo Van Rhijn catches Ronaldo with his trailing leg 35 yards from Kenneth Vermeer's goal, and Madrid have their first free-kick of the evening.
LOVELY PLAY FROM MADRID!! Marcelo switches the play with a fine driven crossfield ball to Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portugues forward curls a low cross towards Karim Benzema at the back post but he cannot quite divert the ball on target and it goes out for a goal-kick.
Derk Boerrigter does brilliantly to evade a couple of Madrid challenges inside the penalty area and dig a cross back across goal, but Ryan Babel misjudges his team-mates pass and cannot connect with the ball as it flies across the penalty area.
I've got to say it's nice to see Kaka start tonight. Even if Madrid are wearing green. He's had rotten luck with injuries since his move to the Spanish capital, but he is and always will be a class player.
That comes to nothing though, as Daley Blind clears the ball away.
Real Madrid get us underway here, and quickly win an early throw-in deep on the right-hand side.
PRE-MATCH STAT: Ajax are on a 12-match unbeaten run at the Amsterdam ArenA in all competitions (W11, D1). Their last home defeat came against English side Manchester United in the Europa League, all the way back in February!
The teams are out on the pitch at the Amsterdam ArenA, and we are just moments away from kick-off here.
AJAX REMAIN THE SAME!! The home side remain unchanged from their Eredivisie win over FC Twente at the weekend, with coach Frank De Boer lining his team up in their usual 4-3-3 formation. Kolbeinn Sigthorsson is sidelined with a shoulder problem, which means Ryan Babel again starts upfront for the Dutch side.
In defence Alvaro Arbeloa starts at right-back, with Sergio Ramos dropping in to centre-back and Raphael Varane is relegated to the bench. Karim Benzema starts upfront for Madrid ahead of Gonzalo Higuain.
KAKA STARTS!!! Jose Mourinho has made a host of alterations to his starting XI for his side's Champions League clash with Ajax at the Amsterdam ArenA. Kaka and Jose Callejon replace Angel Di Maria and Mesut Ozil in attacking midfield, while Michael Essien and Xabi Alonso come in for Luka Modric and Sami Khedira in central midfield.
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Essien; Kaka, Callejon, Cristiano Ronaldo; Benzema
Ajax (4-3-3): Vermeer; Van Rhijn, Alderweireld, Moisander, Blind; De Jong, Poulsen, Eriksen; Sana, Babel, Boerrigter
That's enough background information for the time being, here's some team news for you to ponder...
However the two sides share one similarity in that they both come into the match having won in their domestic leagues at the weekend, with Ajax easing past FC Twente in the Eredivisie, and Real Madrid thrashing Deportivo La Coruna 5-1 in La Liga after going behind early on in the game.
They have also started this year's group differently, Madrid fighting back to beat Manchester City 3-2 at the Bernabeu on Matchday One, while Ajax succumbed to a late goal to lose 1-0 to Borussia Dortmund in Germany.
The two sides boast 13 European Cups between them, but have enjoyed varying degrees of success in the competition in recent years. In both of the past two seasons Madrid have knocked the Dutch giants out at the group stage, racking up a 12-0 aggregate scoreline against them in the four matches they have played.
My name is Charlie Scott and I'll be bringing you all the updates you could wish for from this match as it unfolds at the Amsterdam ArenA. Feel free to get in touch with me on Twitter at any point in the evening to give me your views on the match by sending your messages to @charliefscott. Alternatively, you can tweet @goal_intl and tell our official Twitter account what you think of the game.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Champions League Group D encounter between Ajax and Real Madrid.
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