MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka led Real Madrid to a 3-0 win over Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday as the Spanish team stayed on top of Group D with its second straight victory.
Ajax carried the initiative until Ronaldo swung the game in Madrid's favor with his 25th-minute opener at Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
Kaka — making a rare start— doubled Madrid's lead before halftime and set up Karim Benzema to decide the game early in the second half.
Madrid has outscored the Dutch champions 9-0 in three meetings in the last two seasons.
Madrid has six points after two games, while Ajax has one. Lyon has four points after a 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb, which is last with zero points.
"A good victory. We have put ourselves in a strong position in the group," Kaka said. "Let's see if we can continue in this line and get through the group stage soon."
Assistant coach Aitor Karanka directed Madrid as Jose Mourinho served the final game of his three-match ban for alleging UEFA referees favored Barcelona in Madrid's loss to the eventual champions during last season's ill-tempered semifinal.
But before handing over his team to Karanka, Mourinho reshuffled his starting 11 after his team's recent irregular play, sitting winger Angel Di Maria on the bench and picking Kaka alongside fellow playmaker Mesut Oezil.
Eighteen-year-old Raphael Varane got his third consecutive start in defense in place of the injured Pepe, alongside Ricardo Carvalho, who returned to the pitch after a concussion sidelined the veteran center back for one match.
Ajax stayed true to its traditional attacking style and dominated the first 15 minutes as its pressure disrupted Madrid and created a number of scoring chances.
Forward Derk Boerrigter almost surprised Madrid in the first minute with low strike from the edge of the area that Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas did well to save.
Benzema missed a clear chance in Madrid's first attack in the 17th, but the nine-time champion had found its flow and Ronaldo soon grabbed the opener in the 25th.
Ronaldo started and finished off a precision counterattack of one-touch passes between Oezil and Benzema that left the Portugal forward striding alone into the area to volley home.
Ajax coach Frank de Boer said his team's inexperience was behind the loss.
"We had the game under control, but they scored on the counterattack. We have to be smarter and better organized in these situations," the former Barcelona defender said. "I think we deserved a goal. That will give us confidence going forward."
Having taken the lead, Madrid shored up its defense and four minutes before halftime Kaka received a pass from Ronaldo at the top of the area, paused to pick his spot, and blasted a left-footed shot into the lower right corner of the net.
Kaka said that he feels he is finally returning to form after being slowed by injuries in recent years.
"Little by little I am showing good signs," Kaka said. "Not just this game, but I have had a stretch of recent game in which I am getting better and enjoying playing football again."
Madrid dominated possession after the restart and soon went ahead 3-0 in the 49th when Kaka penetrated from the left flank before sliding the ball over for Benzema to tap in.
Turkey midfielder Hamit Altintop came on for Madrid, making his debut with the club after recovering from back surgery following his move from Bayern Munich this summer.
In other Champions League games:
•In Manchester, England, Ashley Young headed in his first Champions League goal for Manchester United to recover a 3-3 draw against Basel after the English champions threw away a 2-0 lead in Group C.
Danny Welbeck scored twice in two minutes in the first half for United, which collapsed after Fabian Frei pulled Basel's first goal back in the 58th minute.
Alexander Frei headed Basel level two minutes later after meeting Fabian Frei's cross and then put the Swiss champion in front from the penalty spot in the 76th after Antonio Valencia fouled Marco Streller.
But Young leveled with a downward header in the 89th after meeting Nani's cross.
The draw leaves United winless and with just two points after two matches, while Basel is top of the group with four.
"We were careless — it's a wake-up call in many ways," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "A lack of concentration saw us give the game away really … but we rescued it."
In the first half, United did not appear to be missing its injured first-choice strike force of Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez as Welbeck delivered.
Ryan Giggs played a key supporting role to Welbeck and was devastatingly influential in providing the vital touches to twice allow the 20-year-old striker to finish.
•In Munich, Mario Gomez scored twice in the first half as Bayern Munich weathered some early pressure before going on to beat Manchester City 2-0.
Gomez struck in the 38th and 45th minutes, both times knocking in rebounds after saves from City goalkeeper Joe Hart.
The victory left Bayern fully in control of Group A with two wins from two matches and six points. Napoli beat Villarreal 2-0 and has four points. City's expensively assembled side has one and Villarreal is without points.
"We are very confident at the moment," Bayern's coach Jupp Heynckes said. His team has won six of the last seven Bundesliga matches and has not conceded in its last 10 games in all competitions.
"In the first 25 minutes they made it difficult for us, but we controlled the game after that. We defended better in the second half, we attacked them early," Heynckes said.
City manager Roberto Mancini revealed after the game that Argentina striker Carlos Tevez had refused to come on as a substitute during the second half.
"I can't accept this," Mancini said.
Bayern's first goal came with Hart unable to hold onto a shot by Franck Ribery. Hart blocked Thomas Mueller's follow-up effort but Gomez pounced to finally put the ball into the net.
•In Moscow, substitute Mauro Zarate scored a 79th-minute winner moments after CSKA Moscow had equalized to give Inter Milan a 3-2 win .
Lucio put Inter in the lead six minutes into the game, scoring via a deflection into an empty net after goalkeeper Vladimir Gabulov failed to punch clear a corner. Giampaolo Pazzini doubled the lead in the 23rd after Yuto Nagatomo's cross.
Alan Dzagoev pulled one back for CSKA with a free kick on the stroke of halftime and Brazilian striker Vagner Love equalized in the 77th, but the hosts were level for only two minutes before Zarate fired a right-footed winner from the edge of the box.