Ronaldo strikes again for Real as Ajax outclassed in Bernabeu
By James Whelan
Real Madrid recorded their sixth victory over Ajax in the last three seasons with an impressive display to win 4-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Maria Callejon had the home side 2-0 up within half an hour as they completely dominated the first period and Kaka made it three just after the interval with a sumptuous strike from 20 yards.
Real appeared to slacken off and were punished when Derk Boerrigter netted a consolation goal, capitalising on a poor punch by Antonio Adan on the hour mark.
Callejon rounded off the scoring as he headed home Alvaro Morata’s cross two minutes from time.
Real finish the group second behind Borussia Dortmund as Ajax go into the Europa League at the expense of Manchester City.
Zenit St Petersburg booked third place in Group C and a spot in the Europa League knockout stages with a 1-0 Champions League victory over an insipid AC Milan.
There was a distinct end-of-term feeling about Milan’s performance, with the Italians already throughto the last 16 of the Champions League.
Zenit, though, were cautious of Anderlecht’s hunger to win at group winners Malaga, but Danny’s first half goal ensured a better return than the Belgians’ solitary point from a 2-2 draw.
An uninspiring first half at the San Siro was punctuated by a few half chances and Danny’s tame winner.
Anderlecht striker Dieumerci Mbokani scored a late equaliser to snatch a 2-2 draw at Malaga.
However it was not enough to save the Belgian champions’ European hopes.
Malaga twice took the lead thanks to goals from captain Sergio Duda but were twice pegged back, first by Milan Jovanovic, then by Mbokani.
It did not matter, as Manuel Pellegrini’s side had already sealed their progression to the last 16 of the competition, with their place as group leaders confirmed after Zenit’s 1-0 win over Milan in Italy.
The pressure has eased on under-fire Paris St Germain boss Carlo Ancelotti after goals from Thiago Silva and Ezequiel Lavezzi ensured they finished their Champions League Group A campaign in top spot ahead of Porto after a 2-1 victory at the Parc des Princes last night.
Both teams had already qualified for the last 16 with only the pool winners to be decided. Porto had started the day one point ahead of their French hosts, but could only muster a single goal from Jackson Martinez and had to settle for the runners-up spot.
Ivan Krstanovic guaranteed Dinamo Zagreb their first goal and first point of a dismal Champions League Group A campaign when he fired home an injury-time penalty to earn a 1-1 draw with Dynamo Kiev.
Despite long since being eliminated from the competition, Krstanovic’s goal sparked wild celebrations among the Croatian fans while the visitors settled for a parachute place in the Europa League.
Schalke were confirmed as winners of Champions League Group B with a draw against Montpellier after Arsenal were beaten 2-1 by Olympiacos.
Both Schalke and the Gunners had already qualified for the knockout stages, but with top spot and a potentially easier draw to play for, the Bundesliga side were in no way inclined to show mercy to Montpellier.
Schalke defender Benedikt Howedes put the Germans ahead on 56 minutes but Emanuel Herrera equalised three minute later.
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