MADRID, Spain, September 28 – Nine-time European champions Real Madrid strolled to a 3-0 victory over Dutch giants Ajax on Tuesday in their Champions League match to make it maximum points from their first two matches.
Goals from Cristian Ronaldo, Kaka – his first in the competition since 2009 – and French striker Karim Benzema sees them top the group two pooints ahead of Lyon.
The result left Aitor Karanka – who was running things from the touchline as Jose Mourinho served out the third of his three match touchline ban – happy with both the team and Kaka in particular.
“He (Kaka) has had a bad patch and it’s been difficult for him, to see him happy and enjoying his football makes me happy too,” said Karanka.
“At no moment were we in any danger, we played to our strengths and from the first goal we were comfortable,” he added.
His Ajax counterpart Frank De Boer was honest about his team’s performance.
“We started well and I thought we deserved a goal early on, but their counter attacking was very strong,” said the former Barcelona stalwart.
“We’ve been a bit naive in not stopping Madrid play in dangerous areas,leaving me with a bitter sweet taste,” he added.
Kaka was also happy with the performance.
“It was a good game, I feel good and we are in a good position in the Group if we can continue like this,” said the Brazilian.
“It’s an important game at home to Lyon next, if we win that we’ll be in a very good position to finish the group as early as possible.”
He was also pleased with the progress he was making in his performances.
“I’m improving game by game, it’s not just tonight, I’m feeling good in the last few games so I’m happy with my own progress,” he said.
Ajax, themselves four times winner of Europe’s premier club competition, started well and when Christian Eriksen tried his luck in the first minute from just outside the area goalkeeper Iker Casillas did well to parry away his shot.
De Boer had warned his Ajax team would not be overawed before the game and their neat play saw them have the better of the opening exchanges.
Icelandic forward Kolbeinn Sigthorsson missed narrowly from distance in the seventh minute and it looked like Madrid would be in for a difficult evening.
It was not until the 17th minute that Madrid launched their first attack and when Sami Khedira found Benzema in the penalty area the Frenchman should have done better than drag his shot just wide of the left post.
On 22 minutes Ajax goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer was quick out of his area to block at the feet of Ronaldo.
It was a spectacularly quick counter-attack move on 25 minutes involving one touch passing from five different players that broke the deadlock, Ronaldo finishing with his right foot a move in which he was earlier involved.
Ajax continued to enjoy the majority of possession and patiently carved out a number of attacks but it was Real who were to double their lead.
Kaka received a pass from Ronaldo on 41 minutes and, instead of giving the easier return pass, turned and fired a left footed shot into the bottom right hand corner.
After the interval Madrid improved their passing game taking no more than three minutes for Kaka to finish off a sweeping move by edging the ball into the path of Benzema who made sure from 10 yards.
And Kaka nearly added a fourth on 66 minutes when Mesut Ozil found him free when he pulled his shot just wide and Madrid were by now totally in control.