Clinical Real send Ajax to Europa
Real Madrid crushed Ajax 4-1 at the Bernabeu on Tuesday but the Dutch side still finished third in Champions League Group D to earn a place in the Europa League at Manchester City's expense.
Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring after 12 minutes as the already qualified hosts, fielding a weakened team, threatened to swamp their visitors. Jose Callejon doubled the lead in the 28th.
Kaka brought the Bernabeu to its feet with a run and shot that curled into the top corner just after the re-start and Real eased off the gas.
Ajax pulled a goal back through Derk Boerrigter in the 59th minute as the game fizzled out before Callejon bagged his second near the end.
Real coach Jose Mourinho rested players such as Spanish internationals Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso, but their replacements were not overly stretched.
The impressive Luka Modric won a tackle in midfield and played a ball over the top for Karim Benzema. The France striker controlled and squared for Ronaldo to score his seventh Champions League goal against the Dutch team.
Modric then laid on Real's second, spinning away on the halfway line and playing a long ball for Callejon who scampered into the area to score.
Kaka made it 3-0 before Ajax were able to really threaten. A weak punched clearance from reserve Real keeper Antonio Adan allowed Boerrigter to grab the visitors' consolation goal but Callejon nodded Real's fourth two minutes from time.