Ajax vs. Real Madrid: Score, Analysis, Grades and More
Madrid is now perfect in its two Champions League matches, while Ajax has yet to gain a point.
While Ronaldo's three-goal performance will steal a lion's share of the headlines, it was Karim Benzema who had the match's most fantastic goal, and it came on what proved to be the game winner.
He blasted an overhead volley past Ajax keeper Kenneth Vermeer in the 48th minute. His timing was perfect and his aim was amazing on the spectacular goal, and it gave Madrid a 2-0 lead.
Ajax had a brief glimmer of hope as Niklas Moisander netted a goal just eight minutes later to cut the deficit in half, but that was all the scoring Ajax would muster, which isn't surprising. They had an extremely difficult time getting much of an attack in this one.
As for Ronaldo, he was brilliant. He scored the match's first goal in the 42nd minute, and then finished with a flurry to slam the door shut with goals in the 79th and 81st minutes.
He also had another goal robbed from him on a great save by Vermeer.
This was a well-played Madrid match, which is good for them because they are going to need all the momentum they can muster with Barcelona waiting for them in a league match this weekend.
Grades for Key Ajax Players
Kenneth Vermeer: B+
Yes, Vermeer allowed four goals, but those were not his fault, and this match would have been a lot more lopsided if he did not make three splendid saves early in the match.
Niklas Moisander: B-
Moisander delivered Ajax' only goal on the strength of his header off a corner, but he was overwhelmed on defense all match.
This is not overly shocking. He simply isn't ready to hang with the Ronaldo's of the world, but it would have been nice to see a slightly more effective performance from him.
Grades for Key Real Madrid Players
Ronaldo's hat trick pushed him to 42 goals in the Champions League—simply amazing.
This match was classic Ronaldo, and there was no one on Ajax whohad any chance of slowing him down.
Karim Benzema: A-
Benzema wasn't very active early, but it was his run down the left that set up Ronaldo for the match's opening score.
He then added his brilliant goal in the second, and he added a second assist as well.
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