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VIDEO: Real Madrid dumped out of Champions League by Ajax

By Vincent Ashitey
VIDEO: Real Madrid dumped out of Champions League by Ajax
VIDEO: Real Madrid dumped out of Champions League by Ajax

The bigger they come the harder they fall. After 1011 days as Champions League holders and 13-times winners Real Madrid crashed out of the competition losing 4-1 on the night to Ajax and 5-3 on aggregate.

It was a humiliation. Gareth Bale watched it unfold from the bench and was helpless to change it when he came on as a first-half substitute. Thibaut Courtois was as culpable as anyone letting in the fourth from a direct free-kick.

Things started well enough. Rafael Varane headed Lucas Vazquez' cross on to the cross bar after just four minutes and the Bernabeu believed Madrid had simply slipped into Champions League gear. They had not and the wheels were about to come off.

First Toni Kroos lost the ball in midfield and in a flash Dusan Tadic was crossing for Hakim Ziyech to score past Thibaut Courtois.

There was stunned silence from the Bernabeu and more than 4,000 Ajax fans, many now with shirts off, celebrated.

That was after seven minutes. By the 18-minute mark, Madrid were going out. Tadic spun brilliantly away from Casemiro and ran at the heart of the Real Madrid defence. There was no resistance and it was Luka Modric left as the last man as David Neres got in behind him to slot the ball past Courtois.

Madrid were butter soft at the back. The Bernabeu whistled and Ajax almost scored again with Courtois saving from Tadic at his near post.

On 28 minutes, injury was added to insult. First Lucas Vasquez hobbled off to be replaced by Bale. Vinicius Junior followed soon after with Marco Asensio coming on. Madrid needed Bale more than ever yet still he was whistled on by many.

He came closest to getting Madrid back in it before the break hitting the frame of the goal with a lob.

As the half-time whistle went there were more whistles from the Bernabeu. Real Madrid would need a second-half hero with Sergio Ramos suspended and Cristiano Ronaldo sold, it looked like it would be Bale's night or goodnight. It was to be goodnight.

Ajax almost made it three at the restart, but Courtois saved from Donny van de Beek. Karim Benzema broke down the left but after tricking his way past Ziyech, he went for goal with a wild shot that went well wide of the far post.

With Ajax's next attack they scored the third and they got to celebrate it twice. Noussaire Mazraoul won the ball from Sergio Reguilon and when the ball reached Tadic, the best player on the pitch postage-stamped it past Courtois.

Referee Felix Brych stopped the play to consult VAR. The ball looked to have gone out when Reguilon was dispossessed.

Bale led the complaints and time stood still until Brych's verdict sent the traveling Ajax supporters into raptures once more.

There was no way back now. Asensio gave supporters some hope by scoring for Madrid but it was wiped out by Lasse Schone's direct free-kick past Courtois, who looked poorly positioned.

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