Madrid run riot in Europe

Published: Nov 23, 2011, 13:05 IST | Agencies |

Real Madrid made light work of Dinamo Zagreb winning 6-2 to make it five straight wins in Group D of the Champions League on a rainy night in the Spanish capital.

Real Madrid made light work of Dinamo Zagreb winning 6-2 to make it five straight wins in Group D of the Champions League on a rainy night in the Spanish capital.

The Spaniards proved their strength in depth by resting key players in Iker Casillas, Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe and sharing the goals around with Karim Benzema and Jose Callejon scoring twice and Gonzalo Higuain and Mesut Ozil also on the scoresheet.

The result leaves the Croatians pointless, Fatos Beciraj and Ivan Tomecak got late consolations for them, and confirms their last position in Group D.

Ajax and Olympique Lyon battled out a 0-0 draw in the other game in the group and both will have to wait until the last match to decide who joins Madrid in the last 16.

For Madrid, the result was another demonstration of their power - they have now scored 16 and conceded only two goals in this season Champions League.

The improvement in coach Jose Mourinho's second season in charge is apparent and establishes them as one of the favourites to lift the Champions League trophy in the Allianz Arena in Munich next May.

'Los Merengues' domination was so complete that a stunned Zagreb were four goals in arrears within twenty minutes.

French international Benzema opened the scoring on two minutes with clinical finishing after a neat one-two with Ozil found him in space.

Four minutes later Benzema was the provider for Callejon to shoot home from close range.

And when Lass Diarra found Higuain on the right side of the penalty area on 9 minutes, the Argentinian showed the best individual skill of the night when he feigned to cross and beat his marker in one swift movement before executing a perfect chip from a tight angle for his team's third.

Ozil added to Zagreb's problems when he fired home after a Higuain shot had been parried out by Ivan Kelava, the shell-shocked Croatian goalkeeper.

Indeed the rest of the first half would have continued in the same way if it were not for Kelava, who tipped over a Benzema shot on 37 minutes and saved at the feet of Ozil a minute later.

Just before the interval Luis Ibanez brought some cheer to the one thousand visiting Croatian fans, who never stopped singing all night, with a long-range effort that tested Antonio Adan in the Madrid goal.

With a four goal lead Mourinho took advantage to rest more players at half-time, making all three substitutions.

However, the pattern of the game remained the same and Callejon grabbed his second four minutes after the restart.

His first time shot finished a long pass out of defence from French teenage centre-half Raphael Varane in only his fourth game for the club.

Callejon would have had his hat-trick with a brilliant chip on 60 minutes if Kelava had not managed to tip the ball away at full-stretch.

And six minutes later Benzema added to his tally, bursting through a large gap in the Zagreb defence before coolly finishing with his right foot.

Beciraj snatched his moment of glory with a consolation headed-goal with nine minutes remaining.

And a minute later Benzema was denied his hat-trick when his spectacular overhead kick struck the crossbar at the other end.

Tomecak took advantage to make the scoreline more acceptable in the last minute could not mask Madrid's dominance.

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