Real Madrid’s dreams of a fourth-consecutive Champions League trophy were ended emphatically with a 4-1 humbling at the hands of Ajax.

Despite a strong start from Real Madrid, Ajax took the lead inside 10 minutes through Hakim Ziyech and doubled it shortly after with David Neres finishing after a fine move.

Dusan Tadic then scored a third for Ajax with a well-taken effort before Marco Asensio pulled one back and looked to have set up a nervy 20 minutes. But then Lasse Schone curled in a beautiful free-kick to complete the embarrassment of Real Madrid.

But, how did the players rate?

Real Madrid

Thibaut Courtois – 5 – Pulled off a few good saves but could not do too much about Ajax’s wonder goals.

Dani Carvajal – 4 – Struggled a lot and was often nowhere to be seen, giving Ajax lots of space to work in on his flank.

Raphael Varane – 6 – Real Madrid’s standout defender, though that was not too hard to do. Went close to giving Madrid the lead but his header hit the crossbar before seeing a volley saved well moments later.

Nacho – 3 – Deputising for Ramos, the 29-year-old could not match the performance his captain would’ve brought. Did bring the petulance with a late red card, compounding the misery of the night.

Sergio Reguilon – 5 – Had a tough time with Ajax confident down both flanks, but spotted Asensio well on the edge of the box to give Real Madrid hope.

Luka Modric – 5 – Not the man voted as the best player in the world last year. Modric had his work cut out for him against a buoyed Ajax midfield, but tried his best.

Casemiro – 3 – Potentially should have done better to track Ziyech’s run for the opening goal but was then absolutely humiliated by Tadic in the build up to Ajax’s second.

Toni Kroos – 3 – Too slow on the ball too close to his own area, losing possession in the build up to Ajax’s opener. Was often a spectator in the second half and could not do anything to get Madrid back into the match.

Lucas Vazquez – 5 – Showed glimpses of good play and forced Onana into a good save. But his game was cut short by injury and the Spaniard did not truly have enough time to show how he could bring his side back.

Karim Benzema – 5 – Looked frustrated in the first half with a lack of meaningful service from his wingers. Decided to take it upon himself to win the tie for Real Madrid after half-time but could not find the right finish. His night was summed up when he slipped inside the six-yard box with the goal gaping.

Vinicius Jr – 5 – Eager to impress, the Brazilian was too greedy during his time on the pitch, going for goal when setting up team-mates would have been better. Madrid’s second injury casualty in the first half.


Gareth Bale (for Vazquez 29) – 3 – His entrance onto the pitch brought some jeers from the Bernabeu faithful but he came closest to scoring in the first half, hitting the post following a good run just before half-time. Largely unheard of after the break until another injury problem.

Marco Asensio (for Vinicius 35) – 5 – Had the first chance of the second half but his effort from wide did not have enough curl on it. Pulled a goal back for Real Madrid with 20 minutes remaining with a good low finish.

Federico Valverde (for Casemiro 88) – N/A – A late sub.

Manager: Santiago Solari – 2 – Was unfortunate with the forced substitutions but did not inspire his team when they needed it most.

Sergio Ramos – 0 – Thought he was being smart when getting booked late on in the first leg to free him up for the quarter-finals. Ended up with egg on his face and left a huge hole in Madrid’s defence.

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Andre Onana – 6 – Did not have too much to do in the first half, though did produce a good save to deny Vazquez. Could have done better to stop Asensio’s effort.

Noussair Mazraoui – 8 – Got forward well in the first half. Brilliantly kept the ball in by millimetres on the touchline, setting up Ajax’s third. Booked for a foul on Vinicius midway through the first half which will see him miss the first leg of the quarter-final.

Matthijs de Ligt – 8 – A titan in defence throughout, giving Benzema very little quarter to get an effort on goal. Deserved a clean sheet for his efforts.

Daley Blind – 8 – Worked well alongside De Ligt to keep Real Madrid’s forwards quiet and produced a beautiful tackle to deny Kroos when the German looked ready to shoot.

Nicolas Tagliafico – 8 – Did well up against Carvajal both defensively and in attack, proving once again why he is highly-sought after.

Lasse Schone – 8 – Had a good game, helping his side control the midfield battle. Scored the goal of the game with a free-kick from out wide, beating Courtois and finding the top corner.

Donny van de Beek – 7 – Like Schone, had a good game, though was slightly overshadowed by his midfield partners. Got his name on the record with a good assist for Tadic’s goal.

Frenkie de Jong – 9 – Haunted Madrid’s midfield which can only have Barcelona fans drooling at the prospect of him in El Clasico’s to come. Showed good passing and skill on the ball as well as putting a shift in defensively to control the midfield. Wonderful.

Hakim Ziyech – 8 – Gave Ajax the lead following a good run into the box and finish having initially started the move with a tackle on Kross. Should have wrapped up the humiliation late on but his effort from close range was sent over the bar.

Dusan Tadic – 10 – Set up Ziyech for Ajax’s opener before absolutely destroying Casemiro to assist for Neres shortly after. Was the man behind pretty much everything in attack for Ajax and got the goal his game deserved with a wonderful effort. A titanic performance.

David Neres – 7 – Gave Carvajal nightmares on Ajax’s left and doubled his side’s lead with a calm finish, rounding Courtois. Quietened down in the second half but his job was done.


Dani De Wit (for Schone 73) – 6 – His job was done by the time he arrived on the pitch but he did his part to enjoy the victory.

Kasper Dolberg (for Neres 74) – 6 – Brought some fresh legs into attack but did not need to do much.

Joel Veltman (for Mazraoui 81) – N/A – A late sub.

Manager: Erik ten Hag – 8 – Got his tactics spot on, unafraid to take the game to a wounded Real Madrid.

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