Real Madrid's season over after Champions League exit
Defending champions Real Madrid were stunned by Ajax at the Santiago Bernabeu in the Champions League round of 16 clash. The Dutch side, who were trailing 1-2 from the first leg, came to Spain and conquered Madrid with a stunning 4-1 win and seal the tie with a 5-3 aggregate score. Here is more about Real's agony this season.
Ajax gained control of the tie after scoring two goals inside 20 minutes. Hakim Ziyech and David Neres gave Ajax the perfect lead. Dusan Tadic, who made both the assists, scored the third after whipping the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area. Real pulled one back through Marco Asensio, but mid-fielder Lasse Schone's amazing free-kick silenced the home fans.
Real dominated European football in terms of both trophies and consistency in the recent years. The Spanish club won four UCL trophies in five years that included a hat-trick of honors in 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18. In the last eight seasons, they also made it to the semi-finals every single time. This will be a major blow given the manner in which they lost.
Cristiano Ronaldo played a massive role for Real in handing them four UCL trophies in the last five seasons prior to this. The legend's plethora of goals and match-winning moments helped Real pull off the trigger in pivotal situations. Real didn't replace the Portuguese, who left for Juventus in the summer. And the goals have dried up for Los Blancos since his departure.
Ahead of the match, mid-fielder Luka Modric had identified Real's issue this season. "Not having Cristiano Ronaldo would affect any team in the world. It's almost impossible to replace him so of course we miss him," said Modric. And that was the truth once again.
The Madrid club lost in the second leg of the Copa de Rey semi-final at home to Barcelona. A couple of days later, they lost another El Clasico. This time it was in La Liga. They are virtually out of the reckoning in the Spanish league. And now the 4-1 defeat was a crushing blow. Real's defender Dani Carvajal pointed out the sad reality.
"I have never had this feeling before. I don't know how to explain it. It's so bad. In a week we lost it all, we lost it all at home. Is it the end of an era? I don't see it like that," Carvajal said.
⏰ RESULTS ⏰— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 5, 2019
😱😱😱WHAT. A. NIGHT!
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