CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: End of an era for Real Madrid

Kings of Europe no more. Holders for three consecutive years Real Madrid were sensationally knocked out of the Champions League after being thrashed 4-1 at home by an outstanding Ajax Amsterdam who overturned a first-leg deficit to reach the quarterfinals 5-3 on aggregate.

The humiliating defeat completed a miserable week for Real, who have monopolised 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.

“I think I have never felt this awful, I do not know how to explain it,” Real defender Dani Carvajal said.

“This week everything has gone against us. Tonight we cannot look for excuses. We have to show our faces and not hide, our season has been a piece of shit.”

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.

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