Ronaldo at the treble as Real Madrid sink Ajax

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Cristiano Ronaldo was in treble form as Real Madrid tuned up for this weekend's Clasico with a stylish 4-1 win at Ajax here on Wednesday to maintain their perfect start to the fledgling Champions League campaign.

Ronaldo, who had bagged the late winner in the Spanish champions' opening Group D win over Manchester City, was joined on the score-sheet by Karim Benzema, with Ajax's lone strike coming from Niklas Moisander.

"Real are back," said winning coach Jose Mourinho.

"This is the first time this season we've won three or four matches in a row, that's important for our objectives and our confidence.

"We have to keep going, We can't win everything, but when individual qualities translates into collective qualities it's normal that results follow."

Ajax coach Frank de Boer commented: "You can have respect (for Real) but you have to play your game. On Wednesday I think we had too much respect for them."

The scoreline would have been even more lopsided but for a series of fine saves by Ajax's goalkeeper, Kenneth Vermeer.

In front of a near-capacity 50,000 crowd, Madrid were quick out of the starting blocks, winning a series of corners in the first 10 minutes but failing to capitalise on their early dominance.

Ronaldo went close to putting the Spanish giants in front on the quarter-hour.

Pouncing on Kaka's pass, the Portuguese forward found himself clean through on goal and was only thwarted by Vermeer's quick thinking, the Ajax keeper charging off his line to produce a goal-saving block.

Vermeer proved his mettle again shortly after to deny attempts from Kaka - given his first start of the season after coming off the bench in the 5-1 weekend La Liga rout over Deportivo La Coruna - and Benzema.

Vermeer continued to keep the Spanish giants at bay until three minutes from the interval, when Benzema broke down the left side and cut the ball back for Ronaldo to prod home from close range.

It was due reward for Mourinho's men after no fewer than 14 first-half shots on Vermeer's goal, of which Ronaldo was responsible for six.

Ajax took to the pitch for the second half determined to avoid losing to Real in the group stage at home for the third consecutive season.

But their fate was all but sealed three minutes after the restart by an audacious overhead kick from Benzema.

It was the climax of a superb move begun by Marcelo, who found Kaka on the right, the Brazilian then floating in a lovely cross for Benzema to work his aerial magic by the far post.

Mourinho praised Benzema's contribution, saying: "He scored a fantastic goal. When he plays well, the team plays well, he's a great player."

Ajax reduced the deficit on 56 minutes when Christian Eriksen's corner was headed past Iker Casillas by Moisander to give the hosts some much needed hope.

Madrid then came under severe late pressure from Ajax, but Ronaldo put the game to bed, curling in a shot past Vermeer in the 79th minute, then two minutes later chipping in substitute Sami Khedira's pass over the hapless goalkeeper's head for his first ever treble in the competition.

Beaten Champions League semi-finalists in the past two seasons, Madrid now top the group by two points from Borussia Dortmund and will go into Sunday's clash against arch rivals and La Liga leaders Barcelona with a spring in their step.

Manchester City secures draw with Borussia Dortmund

Mario Balotelli's last-minute penalty secured Manchester City a 1-1 Champions League draw with Borussia Dortmund that they scarcely deserved here on Wednesday.

A goal from Marco Reus looked to be enough to secure victory for Jurgen Klopp's team and leave a major dent in City's hopes of progressing from Group D and into the knock-out phase.

But with just two minutes left Neven Subotic was penalised for handball and Balotelli converted from the spot to earn City a point that could prove crucial.

They now face a double-header against Ajax before hosting Real Madrid and then travelling to Dortmund for their final match.

But on this evidence Dortmund must be strong favourites to progress along with Real.

City are still waiting for a first clean sheet of the season and have managed just three wins in their nine matches.

On their last visit to England, Dortmund were easily beaten by Arsenal last season but Klopp's side looked a far more mature side in the opening period at the Etihad Stadium.

Samir Nasri had a shot saved by Roman Weidenfeller after just 25 seconds.

But the Germans were soon in the ascendency.

Robert Lewandowski headed wide from a Marcel Schmelzer cross and did the same with a ball in from deep from fellow Pole Lukasz Piszcek.

David Silva has struggled since the turn of the year but the Spaniard looked on form again, clipping over the top for Sergio Aguero, who was denied by Weidenfeller before Pablo Zabaleta lifted over from Silva's pass.

After a rare mistake by Vincent Kompany in midfield, Lewandowski slid through for Gotze, whose shot was pushed on to the post by Hart.

Ilkay Gundogan and Neven Subotic both missed with shots from outside the area as the German side continued their dominance.

City suffered a further blow just after the half-hour mark when Javier Garcia limped off to be replaced by Jack Rodwell.

Silva created another fine opportunity when he drifted in from the right and guided a pass through for Aguero, whose effort was blocked by the goalkeeper.

Yet another patient Dortmund passing move resulted in Gotze being played in behind the City defence and he was only denied by a fine block from Hart.

Seconds later the England goalkeeper pulled off another fine stop when he pushed on to the bar with yet another effort from Gotze.

But City almost struck just before the interval when Zabaleta's cross was missed by Edin Dzeko and, at full stretch, Silva volleyed over from a couple of yards out.

After the restart, Dzeko worked Weidenfeller once again when he controlled a Toure pass on his chest and had a half volley saved by the Dortmund goalkeeper.

But it was still Dortmund that were creating the dangerous chances, with Piszczek clipping a ball back for Gotze to once again have a driven effort pushed wide by Hart.

Just after the hour they pulled ahead thanks to an error from Rodwell.

The England midfielder's weak pass to Matija Nastasic was easily cut out by Reus, who burst through and hit a shot with enough power to finally beat Hart.

They threatened once again when Jackub Blaszczykowski prodded a pass through for Reus and Hart came up with an impressive block.

The England goalkeeper also swatted away a curling shot from Gundogan as Dortmund pressed hard.

Lewandowski should have killed the game with a quarter of an hour remaining but he prodded wide after he was picked out by Blaszczykowski.

Aguero had a header from Zabaleta's crossed pushed away by Weidenfeller.

But with two minutes remaining, City got a reprieve when Aguero's flick hit Subotic's hand and referee Pavel Kralovec pointed to the spot.

Balotelli made no mistake from the spot to pull City level but Hart had to make another great save from Lewandowski to preserve the point.

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