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Ajax eliminate record holders Real Madrid in Champions League

European champions Real Madrid were knocked out of the Champions League in the last 16 by Ajax on Tuesday, who won 4-1 to complete a stunning 5-3 aggregate victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Madrid, 6 March 2019 (MIA/dpa) – European champions Real Madrid were knocked out of the Champions League in the last 16 by Ajax on Tuesday, who won 4-1 to complete a stunning 5-3 aggregate victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Dusan Tadic scored a brilliant goal and set up two others as the Dutch side ripped the 13-time Champions League winners to shreds in a remarkable display.

Madrid has won the trophy a record 13 times, including for the last three seasons running, and reached at least the semi-finals in each of the past eight campaigns.

Elsewhere, Harry Kane’s second-half goal earned Tottenham a 1-0 win at Borussia Dortmund which saw the Premier League side progress to the quarter-finals 4-0 on aggregate.

Erik ten Hag’s Ajax, 2-1 down from the first leg, took full advantage of Madrid captain Sergio Ramos’s suspension and romped into an early two-goal lead.

Raphael Varane hit the bar for Madrid early on but after seven minutes Hakim Ziyech, who scored in the Amsterdam first leg, slotted home after good work from Tadic.

Then the Serbian playmaker created the second goal for David Neres with a brilliant dribble and turn, and the Brazilian forward made no mistake.

Madrid substitute Gareth Bale hit the post but Tadic scored Ajax’s third in the second half with a curled effort in the top corner, giving Thibaut Courtois no chance.

The goal was looked at by VAR for over five minutes because the ball appeared to go out of play earlier in the move, but was eventually given to huge cheers from the noisy Ajax supporters.

Madrid’s Marco Asensio struck with 20 minutes to go but Lasse Schone arced a sublime free-kick home to seal Ajax’s win, with Madrid defender Nacho sent off late on for a second booking.

The defeat was Madrid’s third in a week, with the first two seeing them eliminated from the Spanish Cup by Barcelona and then beaten again by their arch-rivals to fall 12 points behind in La Liga.

“I’ve never felt so bad, I don’t know how to explain it,” said Madrid defender Dani Carvajal, who was on the verge of tears.

“In one week we have lost everything, our opponent was better and they deserved to go through.

“I don’t think it’s the end of our cycle, we have a young squad and a big margin to improve. We have to show our faces and not hide, we’re having an awful season.”

Despite a sizzling atmosphere at the Westfalenstadion, Tottenham sealed qualification to the quarter-finals for the first time since 2011.

The hosts were denied several times by Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who was in excellent form.

Julian Weigl was foiled by a Ben Davies block while Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho saw efforts kept out by Lloris.

Kane’s brilliantly taken strike early in the second half eased the pressure, with the England striker beating Roman Burki after reaching Moussa Sissoko’s ball.

Dortmund’s unlikely comeback was now all but impossible, with the Bundesliga side needing five goals in the second half, and Mauricio Pochettino’s side eased through.

“We are in the quarter-finals. I’m so happy for the players, and the fans. It’s an important victory. Of course we suffered a bit but it’s ok and we fully deserved to be to be in the quarter-final,” Pochettino told BT Sport.

“Hugo Lloris was great. We conceded more chances than we expected but that’s football. After losing in the first leg they had nothing to lose.

“Now it’s about enjoying that we are in the quarter-final. We need to feel proud. The experience is so important to improve and get better.

“There’s a lot of things we can take from this type of game to make us a better team.”

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