Real Madrid ended their Champions League group stage on a positive note as they recorded a 4-1 victory over Ajax for the second time in the campaign. Jose Callejon scored twice for Madrid to add to goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka, while Derk Boerrigter pulled one back for the visitors.
Jose Mourinho’s side were already assured of finishing second in Group D, but there was good news for Ajax despite defeat as Manchester City’s loss to Borussia Dortmund saw the Dutch champions claim a spot in the Europa League.
Despite having nothing riding on the fixture, Mourinho selected a fairly strong lineup that featured the likes of Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. It was that duo that combined for the game’s opening goal after 13 minutes.
Luka Modric played a deep pass over the top that found Benzema racing clear down the right of the area and with Ajax goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer coming out to meet the French forward, the ball was played across to Ronaldo who struck the ball past two opposition defenders on the line.
It was a similar ball from Modric that led to the second goal in the 28th minute. This time Callejon was the man to break behind the Ajax defense and the Spanish wide man took the ball on before striking the ball with the outside of his foot and into the net off the upright.
Perhaps the goal of the match came courtesy of Kaka, as the Brazilian made it 3-0 four minutes after the break. Enjoying a rare start, Kaka took Ronaldo’s pass in his stride and struck a curling effort with his left foot from 25 yards that cannoned off the inside of the post and into the net.
There was a brief moment of optimism for the Dutch champions as they pulled a goal back 10 minutes later. Back-up goalkeeper Antonio Adan failed to cover himself in glory as he came to the edge of his box to try and punch away a cross, but could only send the ball straight to Boerrigter, who hit a fine first-time effort into the unguarded net.
There was to be no fight back from Frank de Boer’s side, however, as Callejon headed in substitute Alvaro Morata’s cross with two minutes remaining.