Champions League: Ajax knock out champions Real Madrid, enter QF

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 06, 2019 11:20 hrs
Ajax Amsterdam

Ajax Amsterdam thrashed three-time defending champions Real Madrid 4-1 in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu to advance to the Champions League quarterfinals with a historic 5-3 aggregate comeback victory. This is Madrid's worst home defeat in their European history.

Hosts Real, leading 2-1 from the first leg in Amsterdam and without suspended Sergio Ramos, were denied a dream start inside of five minutes when Raphael Varane smashed a headed shot from a Lucas Vazquez inswinger off the crossbar.

Minutes later, Ajax capitalised on a defensive blunder from Madrid and Tadic teed up Hakim Ziyech for a superb first-time finish to give the Dutch club an early 1-0 lead.

Tadic then set up Ajax's second before the 20-minute mark, breaking free from his defender with a sensational move and playing a through ball behind the Real defence to David Neres, who rounded Thibaut Courtois and finished into an empty net to double the visitors' lead.

The third goal for Ajax came when Tadic provided the perfect finishing touch to beat Courtois from 18 yards away. The goal was reviewed after it looked like the ball had gone out of touch in the build up, but VAR was inconclusive and the goal stood.

In the 70th minute, Asensio was able to pull one back for Real but Ajax's Lasse Schone cancelled that out soon after with an incredible free kick to restore their three-goal lead to secure the historic win.

The loss was the fourth straight at home for Madrid - including two in a row to archrivals Barcelona, something that hadn't happened since 2004, and capped one of the worst weeks in the club's recent history.

It also ends an unprecedented era of dominance in the Champions League after winning three straight titles. Madrid had reached at least the semifinals in eight straight seasons and hadn't failed to make it past the round of 16 since 2010.

Ajax were playing in the round of 16 for the first time since 2006.