Cristiano Ronaldo scored his second straight hat-trick as Real Madrid made it six points from two matches in the Champions League with a 4-1 victory over Ajax in Amsterdam.
The two sides were meeting for the third straight season in the competition, but Real continued their domination of the Dutch champions with their fifth victory in that time.
After Ronaldo and Karim Benzema had put Real two goals to the good either side of half time, Ajax pulled a goal back through Niklas Moisander before Ronaldo made the score line convincing late on.
Back in form following their 5-1 victory over Deportivo La Coruna at the weekend, Real had to wait until the 42nd minute to break the deadlock. Benzema was found in acres of space down the left and faked past one defender to get to the byline before his pull back was deflected into the path of Ronaldo, who had the simplest of finishes at the far post.
If Benzema’s involvement in the opening goal was impressive his strike to score the second took the breath away. A fast break from Real saw Marcelo find Kaka on the right and the Brazilian’s ball to the back post was met by a stunning scissor kick by Benzema that soared into the back of the net.
Ajax forced their way back into the reckoning, though, as they struck in the 56th minute. A looping cross in from the left traveled all the way to Moisander who produced a textbook header low across goal that went through the legs of Iker Casillas.
And the home side really should have gotten back on level terms as they spurned a glorious chance. Ryan Babel supplied a superb cross from the right that evaded Siem de Jong at the near post and behind him substitute Danny Hoisen somehow put his effort over.
The miss was to prove crucial as Real sewed up victory in the 79th minute. Benzema and Ronaldo combined down the left before the Portuguese forward gathered the ball 20 yards out and curled a fine strike into the bottom corner.
And the fourth arrived just two minutes later. Sami Khedira cut through the Ajax defense with a terrific pass to find Ronaldo, who took a touch before producing a delightful chip over the stranded Kenneth Vermeer with his left foot.
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