Scintillating Ajax stunned 13-time European champions Real Madrid at the Bernabeu to progress from a Champions League knockout tie for the first time in 22 years.
Trailing 2-1 from the first leg, Erik ten Hag’s side stormed into an aggregate lead after just 18 minutes through forwards Hakim Ziyech and David Neres. The electric Dusan Tadic, provider of his side’s first two goals, then added a brilliant third as he whipped an effort into the top corner from the edge of the area.
Chasing a fourth consecutive Champions League triumph, Real looked to have gained a lifeline when Marco Asensio scored with 20 minutes remaining. But Ajax’s Danish midfielder Lasse Schone scored a spectacular free-kick just two minutes later to leave Santiago Solari’s side requiring three goals to progress.
Gareth Bale, jeered by fans in Saturday’s defeat by Barcelona, was dropped by Solari but struck the post after coming on as a 29th-minute substitute for the injured Lucas Vazquez. Real looked fragile without captain Sergio Ramos, serving a two-match ban “for clearly receiving a yellow card on purpose” in the tie’s first leg.
Their miserable night was compounded as Nacho was sent off in injury time for a second bookable offence, as Ajax became the first team to overturn a 2-1 first-leg home defeat in the Champions League.