Real Madrid hit four past Ajax with Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick
Cristiano Ronaldo scored his second hat-trick in four days and Karim Benzema netted a spectacular overhead kick to give Real Madrid a 4-1 win at Ajax in Group D of the Champions League on Wednesday.
A dominant Madrid wasted a host of chances before Ronaldo pounced on a loose ball to score from close range in the 42nd minute, and Benzema finished off a swift break three minutes into the second half when he smashed home a Kaká centre.
Madrid's vulnerability at set pieces gave Ajax hope, and Niklas Moisander stole in at the far post from a 56th-minute corner and nodded under Iker Casillas, before Ronaldo scored twice in two minutes to kill off the game.
The victory consolidated Madrid's lead at the top of the group with six points from two matches, as they bid to win for the 10th time a title that has eluded them since 2002.
With Sunday's La Liga Clásico at arch-rivals Barcelona looming, José Mourinho sprung several surprises in Madrid's starting lineup, deploying the little-used Brazil playmaker Kaká instead of Mesut Ozil and Luka Modric.
In only his second appearance this season, Kaká showed some of the form that won him the World Player of the Year award in 2007, tormenting the Ajax defence and linking up well with Ronaldo and Benzema.
Ajax, coached by the former Holland international Frank de Boer, looked a shadow of the side that have won four European titles, and barely threatened Casillas's goal in the first half.
However, they fought back strongly in the second period as Madrid appeared to take their foot off the gas before Ronaldo, who also scored three times against Deportivo La Coruña in La Liga on Sunday, completed his first Champions League treble.
Madrid and Ajax were meeting in the group stage for the third successive season, with the Spaniards winning home and away in 2010 and 2011