Real Madrid 1-4 Ajax: Brilliant visitors knock out Champions League holders
Real Madrid 1-4 Ajax: Brilliant visitors knock out Champions League holders
Real Madrid have been European Champions for 1,012 days, but their time is up. In 88 days, the 2019 final will be held just 14km away at the home of rivals Atlético, but for the first time in three years they will not be there.

In a single week at the Bernabéu they have been knocked out of the Copa del Rey, the league, and the competition they made their own. When the end came, it was brutal. It was also brilliant. Ajax came and tore them to bits, scoring four goals, each more impressive than the last.This is the third time Ajax have won here in this competition, after 1973 and 1995. The last two times they won the European Cup; few would expect that now, those days long gone, but on this evidence that romantic idea may not be so misplaced.

Madrid are bad, it is true. Their “shit season” in Dani Carvajal’s words, is over in March, thanks to three home defeats in seven with an aggregate score of 8-1. But it is also true that Ajax are very good. Goals from Hakim Ziyech, David Neres, Dusan Tadic and Lasse Schöne were the consequence of a collective superiority that was startling and they are deservedly through: too fast, too incisive, too well organised for a team that is disintegrating, a generation that has come to a close.

Santi Solari said afterwards “so much had happened”, and he was right. Madrid suffered three injuries, Lucas Vázquez and Vinícius withdrawn within half an hour and Gareth Bale limping through the final minutes. They also hit the post twice. Nacho was sent off in added time. And there was a five-minute wait for the VAR to allow Ajax’s third goal – the kind of delay that makes technology more a hinderance than a help. And yet sometimes for all the analysis, all the detail, there is a simple truth and that was the case here: Ajax were better than Madrid.

Somehow, Ajax lost 2-1 in Amsterdam, the chance to progress seemingly escaping them against team that has shown a remarkable ability to prevail. No team has ever gone through after losing the first leg 2-1 at home and Sergio Ramos considered Madrid’s passage so certain that he sought a deliberate yellow card and a suspension. That decision looks daft now; he from the stands as watched Ajax won in a manner that was entirely incontestable.

  • source : bbcnews