Real Madrid sealed top-spot in Group G after a 4-0 win over Ajax at Amsterdam, including a brace by Cristiano Ronaldo. Ajax's loss coupled with AC Milan's 2-0 win over Auxerre means Ajax's hopes of qualifying for the knockouts of the UEFA Champions League are now over.
Karim Benzema and Alvaro Arbeloa gave Madrid a 2-0 lead going into half-time before Ronaldo struck twice in the second half, including a penalty kick, to make sure of a comfortable win despite the Los Blancos finishing with 9 men.
The match was well over when first Alonso and then Sergio Ramos picked up their second yellow cards for time-wasting and needlessly got sent off.
Madrid hold a five-point lead at the top of the Group followed by Milan on 8 points. Martin Jol's Ajax side will now fight it out with Auxerre in the final match of the group stages for a place in the Europa League.
The whites were all over Ajax in the opening minutes, with Pedro Leon, Benzema, Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil all having flashes and efforts on goal. It took a while coming but when it came, the goal was well worth the wait. On the 36th minute, Alonso's long free-kick into the area was delicately flicked back by Ozil onto the path of Benzema who made no mistake in shooting into the top corner.
Just before half-time, Arbeloa doubled the lead with a long range thunderbolt, which took a slight deflection off a defender giving keeper Stekelenburg no chance.
It was more of the same in the second half, as Madrid continued inroads into the Ajax defence. The Dutch side had their keeper to thank for on numerous occasions. Especially so in the 47th minute, when Ronaldo broke free only to see his shot tipped onto the crossbar and out by Stekelenburg.
Benzema also went close before Ajax's first meaningful attempt on goal came when through an indirect free-kick from 25 yards, Jan Vertonghen forced Casillas into a brilliant save.
However, all Ajax hopes were squandered as Madrid made it 3-0 barely a minute later. Madrid countered the free-kick with Di Maria racing to the edge of the Ajax box and feeding Ronaldo to the left. The Portuguese's sublime first touch gave him an easy finish with a low shot across the keeper.
When Madrid were awarded a penalty after good work from Ozil, it served to put salt into the wounds of the capacity crowd at the Amsterdam Arena. Ronaldo was the definition of calmness when taking the penalty, lifting it down the middle while sending the keeper the wrong way.
However, the night was not for perfect for Madrid as shortly afterwards Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos both picked up their second bookings to get sent off for needless time wasting.