UEFA Champions League: Ranking Real Madrid's Top Ten Goals of the Group Stage
Real Madrid made the supposed "group of death" look easy, by winning five of their six games and drawing one. They scored 15 goals and conceded only two.
Now, we're left with only memories of the group stage, and it's a good time to relive some of those moments (goals) that made the group stage so enjoyable for Real Madrid.
Out of the 15 goals scored, I've decided to highlight ten of them I felt were the best.
10: Ronaldo's Free Kick Against AC Milan (First Leg)
The Portuguese striker scored the first goal against the Italian giants, and effectively bolstered the confidence of his team. The match ended 2-0 in favor of Real Madrid.
The free kick was low and well calculated. It went through the wall and thanks to a little deflection from Claurence Seedorf, the ball hit the back of the net, leaving Milan's keeper helpless.
9: Pedro Leon vs. AC Milan (Second Leg)
Pedro Leon's goal against AC Milan in the second leg of their group stage encounter was a very important one. It came at a time when the team was one goal down in Italy and were about to suffer their first loss of the season.
The build up to the goal was beautiful. Xabi Alonso gave a signature pass to Karim Benzema who in turn showed incredible vision by finding Pedro Leon lurking in the opposing 18 yard box. The rest was history.
8: Benzema vs. Auxerre (Second Leg)
Karim Benzema had a game to remember in the second leg encounter with French side, Auxerre.
This was the third of four Real Madrid goals in that match. The frenchman controlled a Lassana Diarra cross with the outside of his right foot and sent home a powerful left footed strike to increase his tally to two in the match.
7: Higuain vs. AC Milan (Second Leg)
Higuain scored the first goal of the 2-2 draw with AC Milan in Italy. Di Maria received a pass from Khedira in midfield; he ran his way close to the edge of the 18 yard box then released a perfectly timed through pass to Higuain, who drove home a nice ground shot.
6: Benzema vs. Ajax (Second Leg)
In the second leg of the match against Ajax, Benzema scored a much needed first goal that practically confirmed Real Madrid as winners of Group G.
Alonso gave a good long pass to Ozil who had made a well timed run into the box. However, Ozil wasn't in a good position to shoot, so he gave a back pass to oncoming Karim Benzema, who placed a half volley smoothly into the net.
5: Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Ajax (Second Leg)
This was the third of Madrid's four goals against Ajax in the second leg of the fixture. Angel Di Maria intercepted a pass in midfield, and carried the ball all the way to the edge of the 18 yard box, where he gave a through pass to his teammate, Ronaldo. The Portuguese all-star shot a powerful grounder with his weaker foot.
4: Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Auxerre (Second Leg)
This goal was a bit similar to the previous one. The difference here was that Ronaldo was on the other side of the 18 yard box, hence he was able to take the shot with his strong right foot. Also, the player who assisted his goal in this case was Marcelo, and not Di Maria
3: Di Maria vs. Auxerre (First Leg)
Angel Di Maria came in as a sub to rescue Real Madrid from what was becoming an annoying draw with the French side Auxerre. A cross from Mesut Ozil into the box got to Angel Di Maria who displayed amazing shot technique on his goal.
2: Karim Benzema's Lob vs. Auxerre (Second Leg)
Auxerre goal Keeper, Oliver Sorin, gifted Karim Benzema with the club's second best goal of the group stage. He passed the ball to to his fellow frenchman, who showed his gratitude by playing a perfect lob that finished off a perfect night for Los Merengues.
1: Alvaro Arbeloa's Screamer vs. Ajax ( Second Leg)
Real Madrid's best goal of the group stage came from an unlikely source. Arbeloa took advantage of a blocked Cristiano Ronaldo free kick, and sent it home from downtown. His goal was the second of Real Madrid's four goals, and it reminded me of Roberto Carlos.