Skip to main content

Ronaldo hat-trick leaves Real Madrid in command of Group of Death

October 3, 2012 -- Updated 2150 GMT (0550 HKT)
Cristiano Ronaldo is congratulated by his teammates on his way to a hat-trick against Ajax Amsterdam.
Cristiano Ronaldo is congratulated by his teammates on his way to a hat-trick against Ajax Amsterdam.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Real Madrid top "Group of Death" after 4-1 win at Ajax
  • Cristiano Ronaldo scores a hat-trick in Amsterdam
  • Manchester City salvage home point against Borussia Dortmund
  • Malaga continue impressive debut in Group C

(CNN) -- Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick as Real Madrid took control of the Champions League "Group of Death" with a 4-1 rout of Ajax in Amsterdam Wednesday.

It was their second successive win in Group D to lead the way from Borussia Dortmund, who have four points after they drew 1-1 at Manchester City.

Ronaldo warmed up for the Clasico clash with Barcelona at the weekend by with some expert finishing, converting Karim Benzema's cross for the opener just before the break.

Benzema added a second in the 48th minute with a superb overhead kick before Dutch champions Ajax cut the lead on 56 minutes when Niklas Moisander headed home.

Today we deserved to concede three or four goals. We didn't play well. We didn't play well because Borussia Dortmund played better than us
Roberto Mancini

But Ronaldo curled home a third in the 79th minute and then completed his first hat-trick in the competition -- his second in a week -- with an impudent chip.

English champions Manchester City looked set for their second straight defeat in the competition when they trailed 1-0 to Dortmund late in the game at the Etihad Stadium.

But Sergio Aguero's hooked shot hit Neven Subotic's outstretched arm and a hotly disputed penalty was given.

Mario Balotelli scored in his customary casual style from the spot to salvage a point for Roberto Mancini's men.

They had trailed to a fine goal by Marco Reus on the hour mark and it took a string of incredible saves from England goalkeeper Joe Hart and a glaring miss from Robert Lewandowski to deny the German champions a deserved win.

"I think that Joe saved us. He did very, very well," Mancini told Sky Sports after the match.

"Today we deserved to concede three or four goals. We didn't play well. We didn't play well because Borussia Dortmund played better than us.

Real's Spanish counterparts Malaga also continued their impressive introduction to the Champions League by winning 3-0 at Anderlecht to top Group C.

Eliseu scored twice and Joaquin converted a first half penalty as they dominated in Belgium for a second straight victory in the group.

Earlier, AC Milan won a dramatic five-goal encounter in St Petersburg against Zenit.

An own goal by Tomas Hubocan gave the Italian giants victory after they had been pegged back, having taken a two-goal lead.

Urby Emanuelson with a deflected free kick and Stephan El Shaarawy scored for the visitors in the space of three minutes.

But the home side hit back and after a string of superb saves by Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati, Brazilian Hulk reduced the deficit just before halftime.

Roman Shirokov headed home Hulk's corner to level just after the break but Hubocan helped home a weak effort by Giampaolo Pazzini to leave his team pointless after two games.

While Manchester City struggled, their EPL rivals Arsenal made it two wins from two in Group B with a 3-1 home victory over Olympiakos of Greece.

Gervinho continued his recent scoring run with the opener for the Gunners, but Kostas Mitroglou glanced home an equalizer before halftime.

Lukas Podolski put Arsenal back ahead in the 56th minute before Aaron Ramsey rounded off the victory in injury time.

Schalke were denied their second win in the group as 10-man Montpellier scored a 90th-minute equalizer.

Striker Souleymane Camara stuck in the 90th minute to earn a 2-2 draw for the French visitors.

Karim Ait-Fana had put them ahead early on before the Royal Blues hit back through teenager Julia Draxler.

Schalke looked headed for victory as Garry Bocaly fouled Draxler in the penalty area and was shown a red card in conceding the spot kick.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar converted the penalty before Montpellier leveled through Camara's curling shot.

In Group A, an 83rd-minute goal by James Rodriguez gave Porto a 1-0 home win over big spending Paris Saint-Germain.

The result leaves Porto three points clear of PSG, who are tied on three points with Dynamo Kiev after the Ukrainians beat Dinamo Zagreb 2-0.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
CNN Football Club
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1523 GMT (2323 HKT)
The 1989 Hillsborough stadium tragedy, which claimed 96 lives, brought the red and the blue halves of Liverpool together.
CNN's Don Riddell says the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy has caused irreparable damage to the families of the 96 victims and the survivors.
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
The Champions league trophy stands on show during the draw for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions league at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon on March 21, 2014. AFP PHOTO/FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Two European heavyweights will collide in the Champions League semifinals after Bayern Munich and Real Madrid were drawn together in Switzerland.
March 24, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
West Bromwich Albion's French striker Nicolas Anelka looks on during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich, central England, on January 1, 2014.
England prides itself on being the home of football, but is the nation dysfunctional in dealing with racist abuse?
March 18, 2014 -- Updated 1339 GMT (2139 HKT)
In a city where football is a religion, Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge is fast becoming a deity.
French former football player Zinedine Zidane reacts during the gala football 'Match Against Poverty' organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on March 4, 2014 in Bern.
Some of the biggest names in football lined up for a charity match, but CNN's Tom McGowan wonders if they can help beat poverty.
March 4, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
"Everyone is scared about war -- they are very nervous," former Ukraine football star Oleg Luzhny says of the rising tensions with Russia.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 1807 GMT (0207 HKT)
Bayern Munich's present success rests on one key decision, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge tells CNN.
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
Neymar
"More than a Club." It is an image Barcelona has carefully cultivated, but could the controversial deal to sign Neymar sour that view?
February 1, 2014 -- Updated 1825 GMT (0225 HKT)
Affectionately known as "the wise man of Hortaleza," Luis Aragones -- who died aged 75 -- left the legacy of helping Spain's ascension to the top.
January 23, 2014 -- Updated 2118 GMT (0518 HKT)
Real Madrid hasn't won the European Champions League in over a decade, but the Spanish club is invincible in one field -- making money.
The naming of the world's best footballer is not all that it seems, says CNN's James Masters.
ADVERTISEMENT