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UEFA Champions League 2018/19: Ajax's heroics under Erik ten Hag

09 Mar 2019, 08:25 IST

Real Madrid v Ajax - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg
Real Madrid v Ajax - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg

Ajax have only lost once in the Champions League this season and it came against Real Madrid in the first leg of the round of 16 tie. They have won three of their league games and drew the remaining ones.

They drew twice versus Bayern Munich, which was a great achievement given the quality of players in the Bundesliga side. Ajax were unstoppable in Johan Cruyff Arena and away from home, they tried to play their own game.

Against Real Madrid on Tuesday, they delivered a fantastic comeback win away from home to make it to the Champions League quarterfinals.

With some eye-catching football, Ajax won the hearts of many football fans across the globe. Ajax's stunning 3-3 draw against Bayern Munich on Matchday 6 is one of the games of the season so far. Dusan Tadic, Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, and David Neres has been brilliant for the Netherlands side this season.

Ajax came back from winter training camp in Florida and a lot seems to have changed. The Amsterdam side could’ve gone top after PSV dropped points at FC Emmen but they failed miserably by drawing 4-4 versus Heerenveen at home. A week later, they lost 6-2 versus Feyenoord. They also lost 1-0 to Heracles in February.

Maybe it has to do with the transfer deal of Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona but it has certainly resulted in dropped points and a crisis that Ajax was eager to end versus Real Madrid.

There was some optimism around Santigo Bernabeu when the Champions League draw was done and Real Madrid were expected to cruise to the quarter-final.

And yet, to the surprise of Ajax fans and to the shock of Madrid supporters, Ajax found a way to rebound while Real Madrid threw their entire season away. And after losing to Madrid in the first leg, Ajax have won four straight games, scoring 17 goals in the time being.

While Madrid have lost every shred of motivation in a disastrous past few weeks, Ajax have managed to turn it around.

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