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Ajax's Vermeer, Anita devasted, Madrid happy

Published: Thursday 8 December 2011, 8.45CET
AFC Ajax's Kenneth Vermeer and Vurnon Anita were devastated after learning Olympique Lyonnais would pip them to the last 16 whereas Real Madrid CF's Esteban Granero was all smiles.
by Derek Brookman
from Amsterdam ArenA
Ajax's Vermeer, Anita devasted, Madrid happy
Kenneth Vermeer looks on after conceding a third Madrid goal ©Getty Images
Published: Thursday 8 December 2011, 8.45CET

Ajax's Vermeer, Anita devasted, Madrid happy

AFC Ajax's Kenneth Vermeer and Vurnon Anita were devastated after learning Olympique Lyonnais would pip them to the last 16 whereas Real Madrid CF's Esteban Granero was all smiles.

Goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer said his feelings were "indescribable" after a 3-0 home defeat by Real Madrid CF – combined with a 7-1 win for Olympique Lyonnais in Zagreb – caused AFC Ajax to miss out on second place in UEFA Champions League Group D on goal difference. Madrid's Esteban Granero was naturally delighted after his team completed the best-ever UEFA Champions League group stage campaign, racking up 18 points with a +17 goal difference.

Kenneth Vermeer, Ajax goalkeeper
It's indescribable; who could have thought this would happen? We knew we might lose to Madrid but we didn't imagine Lyon would win by such a margin. I only heard the score from Zagreb with five minutes to go, there was a free-kick and someone said: 'It's 6-1, we're out.'

I only heard the score from Zagreb with five minutes to go, there was a free-kick and someone said: 'It's 6-1, we're out.'
Kenneth Vermeer
We have a lot of good strikers and we know we don't need too many opportunities to score
Esteban Granero

Madrid let us dictate the game, but they have such quality they can open up our defence with one pass. They did it on three occasions and scored each time.

Vurnon Anita, Ajax defender
This is certainly one of the biggest disappointments of my career. We had a feeling beforehand that we would go through. I wasn't aware of the score in Zagreb and then the first thing I heard it was 6-1 to Lyon. We then tried everything we could and that's when Madrid scored their third.

Although they weren't at full strength we knew they would be difficult to play against, and it's not a disgrace to lose to this Madrid team. Looking back, we should have finished things off in Lyon but we didn't, and now we're out.

Esteban Granero, Madrid midfielder
We feel very good. We have played well in almost every game, we also scored a lot of goals, and we're very happy about that. We'll try to keep playing like this in the next rounds.

I'm happy for Gonzalo Higuaín [that he was Player Rater Top Player] because he was also captain this evening. We have a lot of good strikers and we know we don't need too many opportunities to score. I hope he continues scoring plenty of goals. We always feel we can win everything but we have to take it game by game, round by round, because now every team will want to beat us.

Raphaël Varane, Madrid defender
It's a superb feeling that we've been so successful in the group stage. Our team continues to play well and score freely. I think our squad is more complete now, we're stronger than last season. Tonight we played well and deserved our win.

Last updated: 08/12/11 11.10CET

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