Ajax advances to Champions League quarter finals after crushing Real Madrid; captain delighted
Ajax caused an uproarious surprise in the eighth finals of the Champions League by eliminating cup holder Real Madrid. In Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, the home of Real Madrid, The Amsterdam team won a dazzling game by no less than 4-1 on Tuesday, largely undoing the 2-1 loss Ajax suffered against Real in the Johan Cruijff Arena three weeks ago.
Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt is delighted, but not completely surprised. He knew his team could do it. "Most people think this is probably unbelievable, but we had every confidence in a good outcome", he said after the match, NU.nl reports. "Real gives away a lot of space, so if you dare to play football, they have a hard time, because they are not used to it. We did that fantastically today. Compliments for the team.
On Tuesday coach Erik ten Hag's team had a 0-3 lead within the first hour, thanks to goals scored by Hakim Ziyech, David Neres and Dusan Tadic. After Real Madrid scored their one goal, the score was brought to 1-4 by Lasse Schone.
"I think we were at our best. When I see how everyone fought, how balls were kicked out of our own penalty area, how attackers helped defend... If you don't do that, you will not beat Real", De Ligt said.
Thanks to this victory against Real Madrid, Ajax enters the draw for the quarter finals, which will be held on March 15th in Nyon, Switzerland. "In the group phase we made it difficult for title favorite Bayern and today we eliminated title defender Real. Reaching the quarter finals is already a big achievement, but we are not done yet", De Ligt said.