Ajax ends Real’s Champions League reign

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  • Ajax put an end to Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League reign with a 4-1 second leg at the Bernabeu on Tuesday, sending the Dutch side into the quarterfinals with a 5-3 win over two legs.

    Hakim Ziyech, David Neres, Dusan Tadic, and Lasse Schone scored in the win, which reversed with ease a 2-1 first leg loss in the Netherlands.

    Marco Asensio scored Real Madrid’s lone goal.

    [ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

    After an early Real header off the cross bar from Raphael Varane, Ajax struck gold.

    Dusan Tadic dribbled down the right before side-footing a pass to Ziyech for a shot a across goal and past Thibaut Courtois.

    Neres made it 3-2 on aggregate, leveling the tie on away goals when Tadic set him up for a neatly-dinked goal.

    And he nearly added another with a chip across goal that missed the upper 90.

    Andre Onana stopped Lucas Vazquez’s bid to bring the tie level in the 24th.

    Enter Gareth Bale. The out-of-favor Welsh star entered the game after just a half-hour, though his arrival was met by a long Vinicius dribble that cause amplification of an earlier injury.

    [ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

    Benzema came close to bringing the tie even at 3 when he dribbled past Ziyech to shoot across goal and wide in the 59th minute.

    Ajax looked to have clinched the tie in the 63rd minute via a Tadic wonder strike, and a first replay via VAR looked like the ball had gone out of play in the build-up. A second angle, however, seemed to show it just touching the white paint, and it was ruled inconclusive.

    Real got one back in the 70th minute, with substitute Marco Asensio rolling a low shot past Onana and inside the far post.

    Then came Lasse Schone. What else can you say about this free kick, other than a remarkable effort accompanies a mistake from Courtois.