With Group G locked-up, Real Madrid is starting mostly second choice players against visiting Auxerre, with Cristiano Ronaldo one of the first regulars in the team. That hasn't stopped Madrid from taking an early lead against Auxerre, with Ronaldo's cross for Karim Benzema headed home in the 12th minute.
Against an Auxerre defense that had eight players in or around the box, Cristiano Ronaldo put a cross from the left flank into the six yard box. It was a pedestrian ball - the kind you'd expect a defender or the `keeper to easily handle - but after bouncing in the six, the ball found Benzema, who bend down onto the ball to head home from three yards out.
Aside from Ronaldo, the only Real Madrid regulars playing are defender Ricardo Carvalho and left back Marcelo, Amongst the players in the starting XI: Jerzy Dudek, Mahamadou Diarra, Esteban Granero and Pedro León.
Madrid is already assured first place, coming into today's match with 13 points. Auxerre is fighting for a Europe League spot, one point behind third place Ajax, who are at Milan. That match is still scoreless.