Real Madrid were humiliated in their own back yard as Ajax sent them crashing out of the Champions League with their biggest defeat in the competition.
Dusan Tadic stole the show for the Dutch side as the 13-time winners’ dream of claiming four crowns in a row were spectacularly obliterated at the Bernabeu.
The former Southampton star set up Hakim Ziyech and then David Neres to fire Ajax into a 2-0 lead after just 18 minutes before finding the top corner after the break.
Marco Asensio pulled one back but Lasse Schone’s outrageous free-kick completed the humiliation.
There was not a huge amount of surprise – and even less disappointment – when Santiago Solari’s team was announced: Gareth Bale benched.
He has not integrated in Spain as well as many hoped, English clubs cannot afford his wages and then he was out of the side once again – albeit for just 29 minutes.
Bale’s replacement Lucas Vazquez whipped in a teasing cross from the right but Raphael Varane headed against the crossbar.
Things, though, unravelled spectacularly for Real Madrid, who were without their captain Sergio Ramos after he deliberately got himself sent off in Amsterdam.
Tadic broke into the box and pulled the ball back for Ziyech to keep his cool and find the corner.
And it was deja vu ten minutes later.
Varane again went close before Ajax went up the other end and scored.
Tadic performed a stunning roulette then slipped through for Neres, who made his finish past Thibaut Courtois look easy.
Ajax were ahead for the first time in the tie and on course for their first knockout away win in the competition for 22 years – across town at Atletico.
Neres then dinked narrowly wide before Courtois denied Tadic at his near post.
Real Madrid were in disarray and the whistles that furiously accompanied Bale’s substitution against Barcelona on Saturday returned.
One imagines Bale struggled to contain a wry smirk.
Little did he know just moments later, the whistles would be back once again and this time for him as he came on for the injured Vazquez.
They say first impressions count. Well, Bale did himself no favours.
He was instantaneously caught in possession in his own box and had Courtois to thank for preventing a third.
Things went from bad to worse for the hosts when Vinicius Junior became their second player to leave the field in tears in a wretched first half.
Frenkie de Jong, heading to arch-rivals Barcelona in the summer, was running the show and showing Real Madrid what they had missed out on.
This will surely not be the only masterclass he puts on at the Bernabeu.
Real needed a saviour. Fast. After all, they had reached the semis for the last NINE years and were last knocked out by then-Juventus man Alvaro Morata four seasons ago.
Bale almost pulled one back just before the break but saw his dink hit the outside of the post.
The unforgiving Madridistas were growing increasingly impatient but it was Tadic that scored next, grabbing the goal his performance deserved with 62 minutes played.
He lashed a stunning finish into the top corner but then had to wait an eternity to celebrate as VAR made sure.
Suddenly, Asensio restored hope for Real, out of nowhere. His low drive, in off the base of the post, made it 3-1 on the night and they just needed one more with 20 minutes to go.
But Schone somehow lobbed Courtois with a free-kick on the left wing to seal the rout and send the travelling supporters into raptures once more.
Captain Karim Benzema’s embarrassing slip with the goal at his mercy epitomised a shocking night as Ziyech blazed over in the final moments.
And NAcho somehow made it even worse as he was stupidly sent off for a shocking tackle and a shove to the face in the closing moment’s of Madrid’s fourth home defeat in a row.