Ronaldo's hat-trick gives Real Madrid win over Ajax
Amsterdam, Oct 4 - Portugal footballer Cristiano Ronaldo scored his second hat-trick in four days as Real Madrid won 4-1 away against Ajax here to go top of their Champions League qualifying group.
Ronaldo was back to his best to help defeat an Ajax side Wednesday which, especially in the second-half, posed problems for Jose Mourinho's squad, reports Xinhua.
There were surprises in Mourinho's starting eleven with Kaka given his first start of the season. Winger Javier Callejon was also in the side partnering Xabi Alonso in central midfield while both Mesut Ozil and Luka Modric were rested ahead of Sunday's El Classico against arch rivals FC Barcelona.
Madrid had defeated Ajax with ease on two occasions last season and the Spaniards started brightly by forcing the Dutch side back into their own half.
Cristiano Ronaldo had the best chance after 13 minutes but Ajax keeper Kenneth Vermeer saved the ball with his feet.
Two minutes later Vermeer saved a double to deny Kaka and Karim Benzema.
Madrid's pressure deserved a goal and it arrived before the break after Benzema found space from the left. His ball touched a defender and sat up nicely for Ronaldo to score.
Two minutes after the break it was Benzema's turn to score as he finished off a magnificent break that ended with a fine pass from Kaka.
At 2-0, the game was Madrid's to lose. They were rocked in the 53rd minute after Niklas Moisander scored.
Ajax looked for the equaliser but Ronaldo was the decisive player with two more goals in the last 12 minutes - the first a curling shot and the second a one-on-one finish after being set up by Benzema.
Meanwhile, Malaga's stunning start to the season continued and made it four wins in the week for Spanish sides in the Champions League.
Two goals from winger Eliseu and a strike from Joaquin Sanchez handed Manuel Pellegrini's team a 3-0 win away to Anderlecht to give Malaga two wins from their first two group games. (IANS)