Real waste no time in dismissing Ajax
SOCCER:GOALS FROM Karim Benzema and Alvaro Arbeloa and a Cristiano Ronaldo double gave Real Madrid a crushing 4-0 win at Ajax Amsterdam last night and secured top spot in Group G for the La Liga giants.
The boisterous Ajax fans did their best to warm up a chilly stadium and inspire their players. But the resounding loss to Real, who had already qualified for the knockout stage, and AC Milan’s 2-0 win in Auxerre dashed the Dutch club’s hopes of a place in the last 16.
France striker Benzema put Real ahead in the 36th minute when he finished superbly past Maarten Stekelenburg from the edge of the penalty area after Mesut Özil’s clever flick before Spain defender Arbeloa beat the Netherlands goalkeeper with a speculative long-range effort in the 44th.
Stekelenburg turned a Ronaldo effort on to the crossbar two minutes after the break but was beaten by the Portuguese with a low shot in the 70th and again from the penalty spot in the 81st after Özil was fouled by Urby Emanuelson.
The match ended on a bizarre note for the visitors when Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos were both sent off after picking up second yellow cards for time wasting.
Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored again as AC Milan reached the knockout round with a 2-0 win over Auxerre.
Ibrahimovic, who scored twice against Auxerre in September’s Group G opener, netted the first goal in the 64th minute before Ronaldinho added the second in injury-time.
The result guaranteed Milan second place in the group.
Meanwhile, AS Roma brilliantly battled back from 2-0 down to beat already-qualified Bayern Munich 3-2 and boost their own hopes of reaching the last 16 knockout stage.
In-form Bayern striker Mario Gomez scored twice to put the Germans in control at half-time, before Claudio Ranieri’s Roma side netted early in the second half through Marco Borriello.
Daniele de Rossi grabbed the equaliser from close range after 81 minutes and substitute Francesco Totti then made it 3-2 to the home side when he converted an 84th-minute penalty after Borriello had been felled by goalkeeper Thomas Kraft.
Olympique Marseille reached the knockout round with a game to spare after thrashing Spartak Moscow – who featured Aidan McGeady – 3-0 in Moscow.
Last Night’s English League One
Bournemouth (2) 2 Yeovil 0; Carlisle (1) Rochdale (0) 1; Charlton (0) 1 Bristol Rovers (0) 1; Colchester 0 Brentford (1) 2; Huddersfield (2) 4 Milton Keynes Dons (0) 1; Notts County (0) 1 Swindon (0) 0; Oldham (3) 3 Exeter (0) 3; Peterborough (1) 2 Leyton Orient (1) 2; Plymouth (0) 2 Dag Red (1) 1; Sheffield Wed (1) 3 Walsall 0; Southampton 0 Brighton 0; Tranmere 0 Hartlepool (0) 1.