Ballon d'Or holder Luka Modric admitted this week that Real Madrid failed to replace the goals of Cristiano Ronaldo, but can they save their faltering season and maintain their pursuit for a fourth consecutive UEFA Champions League title?
However, after seven minutes, Ajax nicked the ball in the Real Madrid half and Dusan Tadic cut back for Hakim Ziyech to find the bottom corner. "We have to show our faces and not hide, our season has been a piece of shit".
One wrote on Twitter: "Wonder if Mourinho has unofficially accepted the Madrid job yet?"
Neymar's PSG will take on Manchester United on Wednesday in Champions League action - which can be streamed on fuboTV (Try for free). Naturally, Real Madrid will be interested as they always are with the best players in the world.
Real Madrid manager Santiago Solari says he will not resign after their last-16 Champions League exit to Ajax. "Working at Real Madrid is a unique experience and different to the rest of the clubs I have been at", he told Deportes Cuatro. Calls about his commitment to integrating with the team, his lack of communicative abilities etc. the press has been after him.
Real eventually pulled one back through Marcus Asensio on 70 minutes, but Ajax's Schone caught Thibaut Courtois out with a curled free-kick two minutes later to end any hopes of a late Real fightback. In an interview with De Telegraaf, De Jong revealed that the club mentioned about knocking out Real during his contract signing, so this match is sure to be heavily watched in Catalonia.
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The hosts also saw Nacho sent off for a second yellow card as their rule as kings of Europe came to an ignominious end.
In the 62nd minute, Tadic finished off another graceful Ajax attacking move with a thunderous top-shelf strike to go up 3-0. If Real were to have any hope, they had to strike after half-time.
Solari is not the only whose position at Real Madrid appears precarious.
After the final whistle Madrid defender Dani Carvajal declared that Los Blancos season is over.
He played the final 15 minutes of Real Madrid's 1-0 loss to FC Barcelona in La Liga on Saturday night.