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From Grace to Grass! Ajax Rise and Fall

Just months after their incredible run to the Champions League semi-final featuring wins over Juventus and Real Madrid, Ajax were dumped out of the Europa League last-32 with a 3-2 aggregate defeat by Getafe.

Coming into the game 2-0 down from the first leg in Spain, they went further behind thanks to Jaime Mata's fifth-minute strike.

While Danilo and Mathias Olivera's own goal sparked hopes of a comeback, the Eredivisie champions were unable to seal and turnaround and were instead dumped out of the tournament.

Ajax were only in the knockout rounds of the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group this season behind Valencia and Chelsea.

Ajax lit up Europe with their scintillating attacking football last season after progressing unbeaten from Group E to stun some of the world's biggest sides.

Real Madrid were the first giant to fall, letting a 2-1 first-leg lead slip to lose 5-3 on aggregate in the last-16.

Next up were Juventus, drawing the first leg 1-1 but then losing 2-1 to allow the Dutch side through.

Only a devastating last-minute winner from Tottenham to win the semi-final 3-3 on away goals having been 3-0 up denied Ajax a spot in the final.

Ajax have suffered this year with several stars including captain Matthijs de Ligt and midfielder Frenkie de Jong departed for Juventus and Barcelona respectively,


while Hakim Ziyech - leaving this summer for Chelsea - was also absent against Getafe.

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