Real Madrid went to the Amsterdam Arena and completely dominated Ajax, but they almost didn't have anything to show for it at halftime. The Spanish giants' fine play had not been rewarded, most because of the outstanding goalkeeping by Kenneth Vermeer, but Cristiano Ronaldo finally broke through late and Real Madrid have themselves a 1-0 lead at the break.
All of the action in the first half was in Vermeer's box as Madrid flew forward with every opportunity. Most of the visitors' moves forward came through Ronaldo, who was tremendous. He was able to get down the left, as well as cut in and have a go at goal. Twice he looked like a sure bet to score, only to be denied by Vermeer, and another time he missed the frame after Vermeer fell. Kaka also had a golden opportunity, which was created by Ronaldo, but he hit the ball right at Vermeer.
But just when it seemed like the gods were against them and they would have to try again in the second half, Madrid hit pay dirt. Karim Benzema raced down the left and crossed, only for it to be deflected and miss its intended target. That worked out just fine, though, as it bounced by Ronaldo in front, who had a simple tap-in to give Madrid the halftime lead it so much deserved.