Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho believes the club are "building something important" after their quest for a 10th European crown gathered momentum with a 2-0 win over the seven-times champions Milan in a heavyweight Champions League Group G match at the Bernabeu on Tuesday night.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored from a free-kick in the 13th minute to put Mourinho's men ahead and moments later Madrid doubled their lead when Mesut Ozil's shot was deflected in.
Real have now won eight of their 10 matches under Mourinho's leadership and the Portuguese said: "My empathy for the players and the club continually grows. We all row in the same direction. The fans have a positive feeling and we are building something important. I will be here four years and I've only been here four months. I hope to achieve a positive objective with the team."
In the other Group G game, Demy De Zeeuw and Luis Suarez both hit fine goals as Ajax recorded their first win of the group stages despite playing for more than 30 minutes with 10 men against Auxerre in the Amsterdam ArenA.
Bayern Munich were thankful for a pair of own goals as they maintained their perfect start in Champions League Group E with a 3-2 victory over Cluj at the Allianz Arena. The result gave last season's beaten finalists a firm grip over their section. However, they won with some fortune after falling behind to Cluj captain Ricardo Cadu's header after 27 minutes.
However, Cadu's evening turned sour soon after when he unluckily put the ball into his own net before Cristian Panin did the same six minutes later. It proved the decisive period on a night when Cluj otherwise matched their hosts. Mario Gomez added a third for Bayern to render Juan Emmanuel Culio's late strike a consolation effort.
"Now we might not even need another point to qualify for the round of 16," said the club president, Uli Höness. "Even to top the group we will probably just need one more win out of our last three games."
Bayern are eager to wrap up qualification for the next round as soon as possible to focus on the Bundesliga, where their worst start to a season has left them languishing in 10th place after eight games – 10 points behind the leaders Borussia Dortmund.
With the wingers Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben out for several more weeks, Bayern also had to compensate for the absence of their captain, Mark van Bommel, and the strikers Ivica Olic and Miroslav Klose as well as defender Daniel van Buyten among a host of others.
"You can sense that the insecurity of the last weeks is still there," said the defender Philipp Lahm. "But the good thing is we showed we can keep winning even with so many injuries."
Bayern now have a six-point cushion at the top of the group after Basle stunned Roma 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico. The Swiss side led through Alexander Frei's 12th-minute goal before Marco Borriello levelled.
But Samuel Inkoom had Basle back in front before half-time before Cabral sealed the win late in the contest.Reuse content