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José Mourinho described Real Madrid CF's win at AFC Ajax as "extraordinary" as they clinched UEFA Champions League Group G first place. Ajax cannot reach the knockout phase after AC Milan's 2-0 victory at AJ Auxerre but Martin Jol's side hold third place and the coach took consolation from the experience his players gained and the fact that UEFA Europa League football is in their grasp.
Martin Jol, Ajax coach
I do not blame my players for anything tonight. They want to give all they got and that is what they did. One cannot say anything else than that this defeat was deserved. The positive thing about it is that this way we gain experience. Real Madrid just are one of the best teams in the world. You can see that there are huge differences at this level. But these really are good experiences for us.
In Madrid [when Ajax lost 2-0] they had many more opportunities to score against us, today they also played well but did not create that many chances. You have to be realistic; if you look back and play against the best from Italy and probably the best team in Europe at the moment, then third place is not so bad after all. For now we just have to keep on working extremely hard and hope that by doing that we regain our confidence. The point we gained against Milan is important. We are one point ahead of Auxerre and if they do not win in Madrid, then we still have reached our goal.
José Mourinho, Madrid coach
We played an extraordinary game.
I am very happy because we have won our group and that was the objective going into tonight's game. The best teams are going to finish on top of their sections so we know we have earned a slight advantage going into the draw for the round of 16.
I am doubly pleased with those who don't usually manage to start for us because those players performed spectacularly. At this time Karim [Benzema] is playing really well; he's happy and there is little he needs to do to improve. He was one of the reasons we were able to play at such a high level tonight. It offers massive security being able to depend on such a great squad. The guys here are willing to do anything for the team and that's what makes me happy. The red cards we picked up [for Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos] don't matter hugely as we have already qualified ahead of the next game against Auxerre. Gifting our last group game is not on our agenda as we want to win all of our matches.
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