Then on Saturday, Barcelona returned to Madrid to beat Real 1-0 at the Bernabéu to end any hope that
the Madridista’s had of winning a domestic trophy this season.
Unbelievably those defeats were not the worse ones that Real would suffer as Ajax stunned 13-time European champions Real Madrid at the Bernabeu to progress from a Champions League knockout tie for the first time in 22 years.
Trailing 2-1 from the first leg, Erik ten Hag’s side stormed into an aggregate lead after just 18 minutes through forwards Hakim Ziyech and David Neres.
The electric Dusan Tadic, provider of his side’s first two goals, then added a brilliant third as he whipped an effort into the top corner from the edge of the area.
Chasing a fourth consecutive Champions League triumph, Real looked to have gained a lifeline when Marco Asensio scored with 20 minutes remaining.
But Ajax midfielder Lasse Schone scored a spectacular free-kick just two minutes later to leave Santiago Solari’s side requiring three goals to progress.
Gareth Bale, jeered by fans in Saturday’s defeat by Barcelona, was dropped by Solari but struck the post after emerging as a 29th-minute substitute for the injured Lucas Vazquez.
Real looked fragile without captain Sergio Ramos, serving a two-match ban “for clearly receiving a yellow card on purpose” in the tie’s first leg.
Their miserable night was compounded as Nacho was sent off in injury time for a second bookable offence, as Ajax became the first team to overturn a 2-1 first-leg home defeat in the Champions League.
With Real Madrid’s season basically over now, a major rebuild this summer, will Florentino Pérez get the rebuild started early by promoting more youth players and benching under-performing veterans like Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos, Thibaut Courtois, Casemiro or Karim Benzema?