Reserves keep Real perfect
Jose Mourinho's second string were more than good enough to see off Group B opponents Ajax and ensure the Primera Division side continued to be the only team in the UEFA Champions League to maintain a 100 per cent record.
Ajax had needed a draw to ensure their place in the knockout phase, but any good vibes they felt having seen Real's weakened team-sheet evaporated as they were outclassed from the moment Jose Maria Callejon put his side into the lead after less than a quarter of an hour. Gonzalo Higuain doubled their advantage four minutes from the half-time whistle and, with the hosts on their way out of the competition courtesy of Lyon's remarkable win in Zagreb, Callejon added his second in the closing seconds.
Mourinho went into the match without a host of his star names, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Sami Khedira, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso, Mesut Ozil and Iker Casillas all out of the side. Even without those heavy hitters he was able to name a starting XI including the likes of Higuain, Kaka and Karim Benzema.
They duly took the lead after 13 busy minutes, Kaka providing the final pass from the right and Jose Maria Callejon with the finish from six yards. Ajax attempted to test stand-in goalkeeper Antonio Adan from range, with Gregory van der Wiel and Cristian Eriksen both trying their luck following the goal.
Miralem Sulejmani was also looking to notch from distance, twice missing the target from the edge of the area either side of a Benzema shot that needed a smart save from Kenneth Vermeer.
The Eredivisie side began to find their radar as the half progressed, Adan finally called on by attempts from the persistent Van der Wiel and Eriksen. Real had fewer clear chances, but once again proved clinical four minutes from half-time when Benzema linked with Higuain, the latter rifling home right-footed from 12 yards.
Jan Vertonghen contrived to head Theo Janssen's corner wide from six yards two minutes into the second half, while Sulejmani rattled the crossbar in the 52nd minute. As in the first period, the Dutchmen continued to have the best of the chances - Eriksen from just outside the box, Lorenzo Ebecilio with an inviting volley - but could not convert.
In the end a Real counter concluded the scoring in the last minute, substitute Alonso feeding Callejon, who provided the finish.