Real Madrid scored three times in the final 25 minutes to romp past visiting FC Copenhagen to the tune of 4-0 in Wednesday’s Champions League encounter at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria each bagged a brace in the Group B clash and with two matches in the books, Madrid find themselves atop the bracket with six points.
Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 21st minute after evading three defenders to latch on to a Marcelo cross before heading the ball past Copenhagen goalkeeper Johan Wiland.
It was a goal that came from almost nothing—until that point, neither side had been able to stamp their authority on a match that threatened to deteriorate into a chippy, sloppy affair with plenty of stops and starts.
Shortly before the interval, Madrid defender Pepe had to receive treatment on the touchline for a gash suffered in an aerial collision with Daniel Braaten and, taking advantage of the Portugal international’s absence, Copenhagen mustered their best chance of the contest.
Rurik Gislason’s corner kick was headed against the crossbar by Nicolai Jorgensen and as the ball came down, it appeared to strike Luka Modric in the arm before being cleared.
It was the closest the guests would come to scoring until a furious final minute at the end of the game that required a trio of stops from Real ‘keeper Iker Casillas.
Cristiano the scorer as so often but that goal highlighted the importance of Marcelo in this Real Madrid team. Gives them another dimension.— Ben Hayward (@bghayward) October 2, 2013
But Real were an entirely-different team after the restart and went two goals ahead in the 65th minute after Ronaldo headed in his second following an exquisite Di Maria assist.
Then it was the Argentine’s turn to get his name on the scoresheet—something he did with left-footed cut-ins in both the 71st minute and first minute of second-half stoppage time.
Key Player Grades
Cristiano Ronaldo A
It wasn’t exactly a domineering performance from the Madrid talisman, although with his brace, he moved to 11 goals in all competitions this season and also took his career tally in Europe to an incredible 55 goals. He also completed an impressive 85 per cent of his passes (many in the high-risk area of the attacking third) and took seven shots at goal. (All statistics courtesy WhoScored.com.)
Angel Di Maria: A
His biggest contribution in the first half was to take a dive in the early minutes after feeling a defender’s breath on his shoulder, but after the restart, Di Maria left a mark that included two goals and an assist. Wiland simply had no answer for the Argentina man’s left foot and was beaten at both the right and left posts.
Olof Mellberg: B+
The 36-year-old was beaten by Ronaldo for the Portuguese’s second goal of the encounter but, by and large, the Swede was imperious in the centre of defence. He contributed two last-ditch tackles that prevented likely goals and completed an exceptional 85 per cent of his passes from the defensive third.
Real Madrid will visit Levante on Saturday and return from the international break to a home match against Malaga on October 19. Their next Champions League match will come four days later at home to Juventus.
Copenhagen, meanwhile, have a Danish league match at home to Sonderjyske before an October 23 trip to Galatasaray in the Champions League.