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Karanka celebrates 'phenomenal' Madrid

Aitor Karanka said nine goals in the last four days had been "phenomenal for team morale" as Real Madrid CF secured a second Group D victory at the expense of AFC Ajax.

Karanka celebrates 'phenomenal' Madrid
Karanka celebrates 'phenomenal' Madrid ©UEFA.com

Aitor Karanka, Madrid assistant coach
Getting three more points at home is always important in the UEFA Champions League. After winning in Zagreb, having six points and leading the group is important. Six goals on Saturday and three today is phenomenal for team morale. With the players that we have, we have shown we are lethal on the counterattack.

To be honest, after our third goal, we gave away more possession to Ajax, but we still didn't have too many moments of danger to deal with. We know what our weapons are as a team and the way we made the first goal was good. At 1-0, we were comfortable. The idea was to tighten up and step back a bit. [Second goalscorer] Kaká is very important for us and is happy again. He has suffered with injuries and hasn't been able to reach his highest levels so far.

Frank de Boer, Ajax coach
We saw a lesson in counterattacking football tonight. We controlled the game well, but we had set a target to play on the counterattack. I had already warned my team that Madrid were dangerous on the break and you have to be smarter than we were for the second goal. We deserved to score tonight. We played well in parts; that should give us confidence for the future.

We have shown some very good aspects of our game tonight. We started well and could have taken the lead early on. After that we got taught a lesson in efficient counterattacking football. Sometimes we are a bit naive.

Our first objective was to play our own game. We did that in the opening exchanges. That should have eased some pressure from the players. However, if there is space behind you there is always a threat. Madrid have so much quality they are always dangerous and always likely to produce something on the break.