Champions League: Shellshocked Real Madrid knocked out by Ajax, Spurs stroll past Dortmund
CGTN

Holders Real Madrid were sensationally knocked out of the Champions League on Tuesday after being thrashed 4-1 at home by an outstanding Ajax Amsterdam who overturned a first-leg deficit to reach the quarter-finals 5-3 on aggregate.

The humiliating defeat completed a miserable week for Real, who have monopolized the competition since 2016 and are now left with nothing to fight for this season after back-to-back defeats to Barcelona had knocked them out of the Copa del Rey and effectively ended their La Liga title hopes.

Coach Santiago Solari may yet cling to his job until the end of the season but surely stands no chance of remaining for the next campaign after overseeing an almighty collapse to an exciting yet largely inexperienced Ajax side. 

Real Madrid were dumped out of the Champions League by Ajax in humiliating fashion. /CGTN

Real Madrid were dumped out of the Champions League by Ajax in humiliating fashion. /CGTN

Moroccan midfielder Hakim Ziyech fired the Dutch side into a shock seventh-minute lead after a lay off from the outstanding Dusan Tadic, who also provided the pass for David Neres to double the Dutch side's advantage in the 18th.

Madrid, who were missing inspirational captain Sergio Ramos through suspension and hit the woodwork twice in the first half, came out stronger after the interval but were dealt a fatal blow when Serbia international Tadic crowned his sensational display by hammering into the top corner in the 62nd minute.

Substitute Marco Asensio gave Madrid a glimmer of hope by striking back but it was quickly extinguished by a breathtaking free kick from Lasse Schone, condemning Real to a fourth consecutive home defeat in all competitions.

Ajax stunned the 13-time European champions at the Santiago Bernabeu. /CGTN

Ajax stunned the 13-time European champions at the Santiago Bernabeu. /CGTN

Things got worse for the hosts, who had won the last three Champions League titles in a row, when Nacho was sent off in stoppage time for two bookings.

Ajax, who have won the trophy four times, most recently in 1995, reached the last eight of Europe's top competition for the first time since 2003.

“We knew that it was possible to get a result here. We always believed that if we could play our own game we could cause them problems,” said Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt.

Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal said he had never felt so awful after the defeat to Ajax. /CGTN

Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal said he had never felt so awful after the defeat to Ajax. /CGTN

Tottenham into last eight

Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur beat hosts Borussia Dortmund 1-0 thanks to a clinical Harry Kane finish, to stroll into the Champions League quarter-finals for only the second time in their history with a 4-0 aggregate victory.

Kane, who missed the first leg through injury, fired in the winner shortly after the restart and against the run of play to silence a fiery home crowd and leave Dortmund needing five goals after having lost 3-0 in London last month.

The Germans, who have seen their seven-point lead in the league evaporate in recent weeks and are also out of the German Cup, have never overturned a 3-0 first leg deficit in the competition.

They dominated in the first half and despite a valiant effort, they were simply unable to score with Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris in stellar form.

Harry Kane's strike against Dortmund sealed his place in the record book. /CGTN

Harry Kane's strike against Dortmund sealed his place in the record book. /CGTN

For Tottenham, whose only other quarter-final appearance came in the 2010/11 season, it turned out to be an easier task than expected, with the Germans deep in a rut and far from their explosive early-season form.

Dortmund had made their intentions clear with a formation that included five attacking players including captain Marco Reus, Paco Alcacer and Mario Goetze for the first time together in a starting lineup.

They had more than 70 percent possession as Spurs pulled back, but after half an hour the best chance fell to the visitors when Son Heung-min, who scored once in the first leg, fired wide after breaking clear with only keeper Roman Buerki to beat.

Tottenham weathered a first-half storm from Dortmund to a historic win at the Westfalenstadion. /CGTN

Tottenham weathered a first-half storm from Dortmund to a historic win at the Westfalenstadion. /CGTN

There were some worrying moments for Spurs late in the first half, but keeper Hugo Lloris made a string of superb saves to deny the hosts.

Dortmund picked up where they left off after the break with Reus, who had scored twice in two previous outings against Spurs, coming close again.

But Kane stunned the hosts when he was given far too much space at the edge of the box and scored with a thumping finish to kill off the tie.

The visitors then had little trouble to manage the pace of the game against the frustrated Germans and book their ticket to the last eight in the competition.

Source(s): Reuters