Real Madrid underlined
their strength in depth when a weakened side hammered Dinamo
Zagreb 6-2 to guarantee top spot in Champions League Group D on
Karim Benzema netted inside two minutes, Jose Callejon
doubled the lead four minutes later, Gonzalo Higuain made it 3-0
in the ninth, and Mesut Ozil rang up the fourth in the 20th as
they made a whirlwind start at a rain-soaked Bernabeu.
Real's pace and aggression were too much for the Croatian
champions and Callejon and Benzema scored again after the break.
Zagreb's Fatos Beqiraj scored the first goal against Real in
Europe this season with a header in the 81st and Ivan Tomecak
bundled in a second at the end as the hosts eased off.
Real's victory canter made it five wins from five in the
group, and 12 on the trot in all competitions, putting them
seven points ahead of second-placed Ajax Amsterdam.
"The game was decided in nine minutes," Real director and
former player Emilio Butragueno told Spanish television.
"It was the first time Zagreb had played here, our first
three attacks ended up as goals, it must have been traumatic for
"Madrid showed a great deal of confidence with many first
choices out of the team and it hasn't affected our performance
at all, so we are very pleased.
"The team is on a positive run and tonight proves the coach
has a lot of players he can rely on which is a good sign."
Real coach Jose Mourinho, who rested Iker Casillas and
Cristiano Ronaldo, handed Turkey midfielder Nuri Sahin his first
start in midfield after an injury-delayed start to his Madrid
career, and the hosts stormed into the lead.
Frenchman Benzema slotted home from Ozil's pullback after a
swift passing move sliced open the visitors, and former Real
youth team forward Callejon finished off a quick break.
Argentine Higuain cut inside his marker and then dinked the
ball over the keeper at his near post, before Germany's Ozil put
away a loose ball after Higuain's shot had been parried.
Callejon broke the offside trap to slot away number five in
the 49th and Benzema made it 6-0 on 66 minutes.
As the game ran out of steam Beqiraj nodded in a neat goal,
Benzema blasted an overhead-kick against the crossbar and
Tomecak scored the visitors' second goal of the campaign.
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