"We dominated and that makes us happy," said Gonzalo Higuaín after scoring in Real Madrid CF's win against AFC Ajax, with Urby Emanuelson admitting the hosts "were too good for us".
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Gonzalo Higuaín said Real Madrid CF had begun their UEFA Champions League campaign on the right foot after the Argentinian striker helped see off the challenge of AFC Ajax on Wednesday night.
The looming presence of Higuaín in the visiting area caused Vurnon Anita to concede a 31st-minute own goal. In the second half 'El Pipita' was on hand again to strike for only the third time in what was his 22nd tournament appearance, sealing three valuable Group G points for Madrid and earning himself the accolade of Player Rater Top Player.
"Tonight's game was similar to those we have played already this season with the only difference being that we made even more chances," Higuaín said. "It was important that we won; we dominated the game and that makes us happy."
With the immense pressure to combine attractive performances with victories in the white half of the Spanish capital, Higuaín is sure he and his team-mates were doing the right things after "so little of the season" had passed. The 22-year-old added: "The most important thing at the moment is that we have time to improve and we're going to do that.
"You could look at it from the angle that we're angry to have missed so many opportunities tonight but we have to take the positives; we're only at the beginning of the season. In our first Champions League game we played really well and dominated. We have changed eight or nine players with respect to last season and we also have a new coach."
Higuaín offered support to his longer-standing team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, who finished the game frustrated not to score. "He's like a machine on the field and it's normal to get angry when you're not scoring," Higuaín said. "It's a question of getting on a good run; I'm a striker so I can understand where he's coming from; hopefully my good run has started in this game."
Meanwhile, Ajax's Urby Emanuelson was in philosophical mood as he examined his team's first appearance in the group stage since 2005/06.
"Madrid were too good for us today," the left-sided player told UEFA.com.
"Although our goalkeeper kept us in the game we still believed that while it remained at 1-0 maybe we would get lucky and gain a draw but we didn't create enough. Maybe we were too afraid because this was a new situation for most of us, but we're playing AC Milan at home next and we'll surely have more chance of winning then."