Holders Real Madrid stunned by Ajax in a massive Champions League upset
Spanish giants Real Madrid crashed out of the UEFA Champions League in the pre-quarter finals after going down 4-1 to Ajax Amsterdam at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu on Tuesday night. The result, combined with Real’s 2-1 win from the first leg, meant the Eredivisie team moved into the quarter-finals of the cup competition 5-3 on aggregate.
It was the perfect start for the visiting team on the night as Ajax took the lead in the seventh minute when Dusan Tadic put Hakim Ziyech through on goal and he made no mistake with just the keeper to beat. Ten minutes later Ajax were able to double their lead when David Neres found himself in space just inside the box and cleverly chipped the Real keeper, 2-0 (3-2 on aggregate).
In the 23rd minute the Spanish team nearly pulled a goal back, but Ajax keeper Andre Onana made a fantastic acrobatic save to deny Junior Vinicius from 18-yards out.
On the half hour mark the home team suffered a further set-back when Lucas Vazquez had to leave the field injured, and was replaced by Gareth Bale. Things were going from bad to worse for Real who also saw Vinicius Junior limp off injured in the 35th minute, and he was replaced by Marco Asensio.
Nonetheless, the Madrid side pushed forward and came close to scoring in the 42nd minute when a 16-yard shot from Bale struck the woodwork and bounced away from danger.
Real applied the pressure at the start of the second half and came close to scoring on the hour mark when Karim Benzema drove into the box, but his shot from an acute angle 14-yards out shaved the wrong side of the post.
In the 62nd minute Ajax took control of the game when Tadic fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner from just inside the box, to make it 4-2 on aggregate. The referee stopped play for a VAR review following the strike, but the goal was eventually given after the referee confirmed the ball did not go out of play in the build-up.
Real did give themselves a fighting chance as they pulled a goal back in the 70th minute when a 20-yard shot from Asensio found the bottom corner of the net. Two minutes later, though, and Ajax restored their two-goal cushion on aggregate when Lasse Schone whipped a left-sided free-kick into the corner of the net.
Real threw players forward in the final ten minutes but were unable to find any more goals as they crashed out of the biggest cup competition in Europe. The night