Real Madrid enjoyed nothing less than an incredible run in the last few years. Holding the crown for the European Champions for 1012 days straight in this modern era is an emphatic tale in itself. But this run has come to an end with a rather humiliating loss against Ajax on Tuesday. The Eredivisie club had a thumping 4-1 victory over Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu to proceed 5-3 on aggregate to the quarterfinals of this tournament. For the first time since 2009 that they have been knocked out in the Round of 16.
Los Blancos were having an average season with some glimpses of their best coming at regular intervals. And then the week started on the 27th of March with two clasicos and a second leg tie in the Champions League to come in the next six days. Santiago Bernabeu was the host to all the three encounters. A back-to-back Clasico defeats saw them crashed out of the Copa Del Rey and La Liga (as it seems). UCL was thought of like the last chance for Solari to keep his place at the club. But there was another loss to come and this time it was Ajax who got the better of them. A defeat which means that the season is already over. With three months of action still to come, Real has nothing to play for in the coming weeks.
In 88 days, the final of the Champions League is ought to be played just 14 kilometers away at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. And they will just be mere spectators in the match. Here is the week in numbers which saw them crash out of a total of three tournaments:
Real Madrid 0 - 3 Barcelona, Copa Del Rey, 27 February: The first of the three fixtures at the Santiago Bernabeu started with a bang. Real Madrid went all out against Barcelona, outclassing them with pace every now and again. They were clearly the better side in the first half but failed to find to find the back of the net. Vinicius was giving a tough time to Barca defenders but the final ball was still missing as he missed two clear goal scoring chances himself. But the second half was a different story altogether. Luis Suarez went missing for the better part of the first half but came alive in the starting of the second half itself. He scored with Barcelona's first attempt on target before adding a second to his tally with a Panenka kick. This came just three minutes after he forced an own goal from Raphael Varane. And in this way, the Catalonia-based club marched towards its sixth-straight final in the Copa Del Rey.
Real Madrid 0 - 1 Barcelona, La Liga, 02 March: The Santiago Bernabeu was all set to host the second Clasico in just under four days. This time it was in La Liga but the stakes were high here too as a loss could see them 12 points adrift of the leaders Barcelona. Potentially ending any chances of a comeback in the league. While a win could see them only 6 points away from the top spot. And with 12 games still to come in the league, there could have been everything to play for. Ivan Rakitic scored the only goal in the match with an icy-cool finish over Thibaut Courtois after a clever pass from Sergi Roberto. Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet were the standout performers at the back. Vinicius and company failed to break through an organized Barcelona defence this time around. Now Barcelona has a staggering 12 points cushion over them. Real find themselves third in the table, five points behind Atletico Madrid too.
Real Madrid 1 - 4 Ajax, UEFA Champions League, 05 March: The third high-profile game at Santiago Bernabeu in just a week's time was set to start with the hosts having an upper hand thanks to their two away goals at the Amsterdam arena, with Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio both scoring. Having been knocked out of two tournaments in such a short span of time, UCL was the last chance for Solari to save his job. The game started off well for the hosts with Modric and Nacho both coming close to breaking the deadlock. But what was to follow did break a few hearts of Los Blancos supporters. Hakim Ziyech and David Neres both scored from two pinpoint passes from Dusan Tadic. They were 2-0 up in the first 18 minutes itself. And Tadic followed it up with a resounding finish at the hour mark. Real Madrid did get a goal themselves with Asensio finding the back of the net. Just two minutes later, Lasse Schone scored directly from a freekick to brush away any chance of a comeback from Real.
Just a week ago, they were showing signs of improvement under Solari with a 1-1 draw against Barcelona at Camp Nou. Fast forward to the present and they have nothing to play for. That's what football is all about! Any slip-up and you are gone.