Zlatan Ibrahimovic marked his home debut for Milan by scoring both goals in the Rossoneri's fortunate 2-0 win over Auxerre last night. Meanwhile Jose Mourinho's first Champions League game in charge of Real Madrid produced a 2-0 home victory over Martin Jol's Ajax.
Ibrahimovic, who spent three years with Milan's big rivals Internazionale, received a warm welcome on his return to San Siro but struggled during the first half as Auxerre gradually got on top. However, the Swedish striker was in the right place on 66 minutes to prod in Kevin-Prince Boateng's flick-on. Ronaldinho's burst down the middle then set up Ibrahimovic for a cool finish inside the far post three minutes later.
Auxerre, yet to win in Ligue 1 this term, had the best chances before the goals when Adama Coulibaly headed against the bar and Steven Langil fired over when he should have squared it with Milan completely outnumbered at the back.
Real Madrid wasted a host of chances against Ajax at the Bernabeu but still ran out comfortable winners on a night when the new US Open men's champion Rafael Nadal, a Real fan, was introduced to the crowd before the game. "It looked like boys against men," rued Jol afterwards.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria were especially profligate for Real, who led from the 31st minute when Gonzalo Higuain's effort deflected in off Ajax defender Vurnon Anita.
A series of brilliant stops from Netherlands goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg and some wayward shooting kept the score at 1-0 before Higuain made the game safe with a smart volley in the 73rd minute after being set up by Mesut Ozil. Urby Emanuelson hit the bar for the Dutch side with just over 10 minutes remaining and Ronaldo fired wide with the goal at his mercy in the last minute to provoke boos from a number of Real supporters. Ozil again impressed though in the creative midfield role vacated by the injured Kaka and the Germany international, signed from Werder Bremen in the close season, was given a standing ovation when he was replaced late on.
His international team-mate Thomas Müller, the Golden Boot winner in the recent World Cup, broke the deadlock for Bayern Munich in their 2-0 home win over a defensive Roma side with a beautifully curled effort.
The Italian side, beaten 5-1 by Cagliari in Serie A on Saturday, came with the intention of keeping it tight and their hopes of escaping with a point were high until Müller struck with 11 minutes to go at the Allianz Arena. Miroslav Klose then added a second four minutes later for last season's beaten finalists, flicking a free-kick past the Roma keeper Sergio.
Also in Group E, Romanian side CFR Cluj beat Basle 2-1 only 48 hours after sacking their manager. Cluj, in their second Champions League campaign, fired Andrea Mandorlini on Monday after an indifferent start to the season and replaced him with Sorin Cartu. However, Ionut Rada and Lacina Traore put the Romanians on course for three points with goals in the first 12 minutes. Valentin Stocker pulled one back in first-half stoppage time for the Swiss visitors.Reuse content