Ajax ends an era of Real Madrid's unchallenged supremacy!!!

Rohit Ganguly  |  Champions League  |  1 Month Ago

An era of dominance met its doom at the hands of a believing contingency deep from the heart of the Netherlands, as a scintillating Ajax put an end to the run of thirteen-time undisputed, reigning and defending heavyweight UCL champions, Real Madrid.


Ajax travelled all the way to Santiago Bernabeu with their task cut out against a menacing Real. Despite the lead being a very slender one, no one really would have waged his bet against the defending champions. A team that validated its superiority and have underlined its majesty by the winning the trophy for the last three years consecutively under the chaperonage of French stalwart, Zinedine Zidane, was not only left disconcerted but was humiliated by the visitors in front of a packed house.


With a one-goal deficit to overturn against the mighty defence of Madrid which featured the likes of illustrious players like Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Nacho Monreal and a soaring youngster in the form of Reguilon, Ajax had a mountain to climb. To cap it all up, Real probably had the safest pair of hands under the woodwork through a bloke called Thibaut Courtois.


Real came within handshaking distance of increasing the aggregate in their favour when Varane’s robust header bounced off the woodwork in the 6th minute. 


However, Ajax had other plans in store for their counterparts. Dusan Tadic, a man who left the Premier League defenders in utmost awe of him, snatched the ball away from a loose play of Madrid and darted forward to tee up a raring Ziyech, who went on to slot the ball into the bottom-left corner of the net, thereby nullifying the goal difference. However, Ajax still had to score a goal to decimate Real’s away-goal advantage.

A dream was already in the making and Ajax entrenched its bedrock by scoring a wonderful second goal to nullify Real’s away goal advantage and surge ahead in the game for the first time on aggregate. It was Tadic again at the crux of the goal when he went on to hold off a Real defender and pranced past Casemiro to carve a picture-perfect pass to Neres, who sidestepped the custodian and calmly nudged the ball into an open net, sending the Ajax fans into an inexplicable frenzy.


The first-half came to an end with a lot of promise as Gareth Bale and Marco Asensio made their presence felt after coming on as substitutions but the visitors troubled the Ramos-less rearguard of Real Madrid quite often, thanks to their blistering speed and some outrageous footwork by Dusan Tadic and Frenkie De Jong.


Tadic rose to the occasion once again just when his team needed him the most as he went on to score an absolute screamer from the edge of the box past a flying Courtois into the net. The play came to a halt as the referee had to consult the VAR due to a tackle by Mazraoui on Reguilon. Different angles were being shown out of which few showed that the ball went out of play and few witnessed that the ball stayed in. After a prolonged four minutes of intense discussion, the goal stood and Ajax was in a land of unhinged ecstasy.

Just when everyone was engulfed with the thought that the night was over for the defending champions after Tadic’s wonder goal, were in for a jolt as Asensio fired for Real Madrid. He went on to pick up a low cross from Reguilon and powered a neatly placed shot into the far-left corner of the net to insinuate a comeback for the Spanish giants.


Ajax was in no mood to be dented for the night and retorted back with an absolute cracker of a finish to put the game beyond the reach of the hosts. With a free-kick lined up from quite an acute angle almost 20-25 yards away in favour of Ajax, everyone in the stands was expecting a cross from Schone in the box. However, the right winger had other plans and curled the ball right into the far-left corner of the net, past a diving Courtois. Everyone in the stands knew that Real probably are crashing out to the superior Ajax on the night.


Real came menacingly close to pulling a goal back for themselves on the 84th minute when Modric cantered into the box, snatching a miscued pass and rolled it for Benzema to nudge the ball home with the entire net at his behest but the Frenchman slipped and the resultant shot from Bale was thwarted by a pre-emptive advancement of Onana.


Ziyech could have inflicted more humiliation on Real, only if he would not have blazed his shot from point-blank range over the crossbar from another delectable through of Tadic.


With all said and done, Nacho Monreal received marching orders in the dying embers of the game, thereby leaving the Real skeleton exposed. What Ajax did tonight was not just notching up a victory, but they decimated an era of champions and stamped their class with sheer tenacity and belief.


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