Real Madrid thrash Copenhagen 4-0 in Champions League
Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo once again came to the rescue for Real Madrid as Carlo Ancelotti`s side finally ran out with a comfortable 4-0 win in their Champions League tie at home against Copenhagen.
Ronaldo scored twice when his side, which needed a positive result to erase doubts over their performances, were struggling Wednesday to break down a defensive rival.
Real Madrid were without Gareth Bale, who was diagnosed with a muscle contracture this Wednesday and presumably won`t play again until the middle of October, but coach Carlo Ancelotti kept faith with striker Karim Benzema, who has come in for criticism in recent weeks after a string of missed chances.
There was another important change in the Madrid side as young defender, Rafael Varene came into the side for Sergio Ramos, while Javier Carvajal got his chance at right back instead of Alvaro Arbeloa and Iker Casillas as promised to return for the Champions League.
There had been talk of crisis in the air before kick-off following Madrid`s home defeat to neighbors Atletico at the weekend, but the fans in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium were expecting a comfortable win against a Copenhagen side that could probably be described as the `Cinderella` of the qualifying group.
If Benzema needed a confidence boost, the last thing he will have wanted to do was miss the target from close range after six minutes, but that is what happened as the Frenchman headed a Marcelo cross wide.
But he was not the only Madrid player who looked short of confidence in the opening minutes and the game threatened to drift away from the home side until Ronaldo opened the score after 21 minutes with a far post header after an error from Copenhagen keeper Johan Wiland.
Madrid fans may have expected that to open the floodgates, but it was Copenhagen who had the best two chances as Nicolai Jorgensen headed against the bar following an error from Casillas, while Olaf Mellberg headed just wide. Meanwhile Pepe needed stitches in a nasty head wound.
The second half began with Madrid again struggling to find their fluency in front of goal, but once again Ronaldo scored the goal, although it came after fine work from Benzema and Angel de Maria, who produced a magical cross for the Madrid striker to head home.
De Maria scored twice in the last 20 minutes to give Madrid what turned into a comfortable win and which should lift some of the pressure off their coach.