Germany World Cup midfielder SAMI KHEDIRA (24) of Real Madrid advances with the ball along side of Ajax Amsterdam’s Swiss-born Holland international midfielder SIEM DE JONG (10) at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in the capital city of Spain. (Jasper Juinen/Getty Images Europe)
UEFA Champions League
2 – Real Madrid (SPA) ————– own goal 31′, Higuain 73′
0 – Ajax Amsterdam (HOL)
Unrelenting pressure from a pile of World Cup players powered REAL MADRID past a brave but undermanned AJAX AMSTERDAM 2-0 in the opening round of Group G play in the UEFA Champions League.
The nine-time European champion, now under the direction of the coach of last season’s Champions League titlist with Inter Milan, JOSE MOURINHO, attacked from the start and would amass a whopping thirty-three shots-at-goal over the course of the game.
However, in a match featuring the two starting goalkeepers from the 2010 World Cup Final between Spain and the Netherlands this past summer, Dutch international MAARTEN STEKELENBURG distinguished himself with thirteen saves to keep Ajax Amsterdam afloat in the contest.
Real Madrid took the lead just past half and hour when Ajax Amsterdam defender VURNON ANITA, under pressure from Argentina World Cup striker GONZALO HIGUAIN, headed the corner kick of Spain World Cup midfielder XABI ALONSO into his own net.
Higuain, for all intents and purposes, secured all three points in the 73rd minute with his first goal of the new season for Real Madrid; Germany World Cup midfielder MESUT OEZIL had a shot saved by Stekelenburg then unselfishly squared the rebound for the Argentine attacker for an easy finish.
Ajax Amsterdam were without their one genuine world-class attacking threat for the Real Madrid match — Uruguay World Cup striker LUIS SUAREZ, who has scored six goals in three Dutch league games and another three in four UEFA Champions League matches this term, was, unfortunately for MARTIN JOL’s visiting side, suspended.
REAL MADRID : Casillas ; Marcelo, Carvalho, Pepe, Arbeloa ; Khedira, Xabi Alonso (L. Diarra 83′), Oezil (Sergio Canales 88′) ; DiMaria (Leon 80′), Higuain, Ronaldo
AJAX AMSTERDAM : Stekelenburg ; van der Wiel, Alderweireld, Ooijer, Anita ; Emanuelson, de Jong, de Zeeuw (Tainio 69), Enoh ; El Hamdaoui, Sulejmani (Eriksen 85′)
Germany World Cup midfielder MESUT OEZIL (23) of Real Madrid maintains concentration on the ball at the edge of the area as Ajax Amsterdam midfielder EYONG ENOH (6) is conscious of committing a foul at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. (Jasper Juinen/Getty Images Europe)
In spite of the result versus Real Madrid at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Dutch World Cup goalkeeper MAARTEN STEKELENBURG can be proud of his display between the sticks in the Champions League for visiting side Ajax Amsterdam. (Angel Martinez/Getty Images Europe)