Auxerre: Sorin, Dudka, Coulibaly, Mignot, Grichting, Chafni, Pedretti (Sammaritano 61′), Oliech, Traore, Birsa (Langil 90′) and Contout (Quercia 73′)
Due to the one-match suspension handed to Mourinho by UEFA for instructing both Ramos and Alonso to be sent off in their last Champions League match against Ajax, Aitor Karanka had to deputize for the Portuguese boss. Real Madrid were already guaranteed a spot in the round of 16 as well were confirmed group winners. And, due to suspensions and injuries the Portuguese manager was prompted to include players such as: Pedro León, Granero, Diarra, Lass, Benzema and Dudek into his line-up. This was Dudek’s first appearance in a competitive match under Mourinho. Two youth teamers were included in the squad list, Morata and Sarabia, anxiously awaiting their debut in a competitive match for the first team. Morata had made his debut with the first team during their pre-season tour of the US and also trained with the first team on many occasions. He was also on the bench last weekend for the match against Valencia but didn’t get to come on. For Sarabia this was his first inclusion into the first team squad list.
Real Madrid started the match brightly and the fans didn’t have to wait too long to see their team score their 300th goal in Champions League history. Incidentally, the only team to have that many goals. Just 12 minutes in and it was Benzema who found himself on the score sheet with a diving header. Ronaldo had come running down the left, side-stepping Dudka and sent in a great cross for the French man to dive on to from point blank range.
Moments later, 21st minute, Pedro León with a good run down the right with some skilful moves, sent in a wondrous cross for Ronaldo, who came dashing into the box and should have scored but instead sent his header inches wide of the far post.
In the 26th minute the visitors had a great chance to square the game but Dudek at 37 years, 260 days old showed that he’s still got it, coming up with a terrific save to deny Mignot from point blank range, diving down low to his left to keep the header out.
At the end of the first half Dudek had to be substituted for former Cantera captain, Adán, after the goalkeeper collided with Contout. Coincidentally, this was Adán’s first competitive appearance for the whites.
Just 4 minutes into the 2nd half and Marcelo came running down the left, cutting into the centre to deliver a well weighted pass to Ronaldo on the right who took a touch to settle it and rifled the ball into the right top corner for Real’s second and his 21st goal in 22 appearances.
In the 71st minute Karim Benzema would score his 16th Champions League goal and Madrid’s 3rd on the night, after he got on to the end of a deep ball out of the back by Lass, which the French man took in his stride and placed a lovely shot to the far post which Sorin got fingers to but couldn’t keep it out.
Pablo Sarabia would make his much anticipated debut in a competitive match for Real Madrid coming on for Portuguese star, Ronaldo in the 72nd minute.
Oliech again would come flying down the right in the 78th minute, cut into the box and took a good strike on goal but debutant, Adán got down to kick save brilliantly to preserve the clean sheet.
Benzema had a great chance to score his hat-trick in the 85th minute after some determined play by Lass who slipped a lovely ball down the middle for the French man to get on to, who then beat two defenders but his subsequent shot went just wide of the near post.
However, Benzema would get his hat-trick in the 87th minute when he latched on to a dreadful pass by the Auxerre goalkeeper, settling the ball and chipping it from an acute angle into the net for the fourth on the night and his FIRST hat-trick in a Real Madrid shirt.
A wonderful display from a “make-shift” team closing out their group stage campaign in style winning 5 games and drawing 1, their best ever performance at the group stages. Not to mention they scored their 303rd Champions League goal, a record that NO other club has achieved.