The Straits Times
Published on Oct 02, 2012

Real gunning for Ajax with Barca on their mind


MADRID (REUTERS) - Cristiano Ronaldo is smiling again, Real Madrid are back scoring goals and the side's stuttering start to the season looks to be behind them as they return to Champions League soccer action away to Ajax on Wednesday.

Jose Mourinho's side turned the corner in their opening Group D match at home to Manchester City two weeks ago when Ronaldo completed a thrilling comeback for a 3-2 win at the Bernabeu which lifted their early-season blues.

The Portugal international's comments that he was 'sad' at the beginning of last month coincided with a poor run of form and two league defeats, the same number they suffered during the whole of last season's championship-winning campaign The City comeback, however, has helped to dispel the doubts.

Real followed it up with a 2-0 win at Rayo Vallecano and thrashed Deportivo Coruna 5-1 at home on Sunday when Ronaldo netted a hat-trick to make it five goals from his last three outings.