It was harder in Madrid, says De Jong

Jose Verdugo
Abril 17, 2019

Ajax's 19-year-old captain Matthijs de Ligt headed the victor from the corner in the 67th minute of the quarter-final second leg as the Dutch side came from behind to clinch a 3-2 aggregate win and reach the last four for the first time since 1996/97.

TURIN, ITALY - APRIL 16: Donny van de Beek of Ajax celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between Juventus and Ajax at Allianz Stadium on April 16, 2019 in Turin, Italy.

The Dutch underdogs had chances via Hakim Ziyech, Donny van de Beek and Jurgen Ekkelenkamp.

The visitors lead! De Ligt leaps high into the air and powers home a right-wing corner with a thumping downward header (Ajax lead 3-2 on aggregate).

Ajax have booked their ticket in the Champions League semi-final after defying the odds with 2-1 win over Juventus in Turin.

Ajax's defence took a hit when Noussair Mazraoui, who had replaced the suspended Nicolas Tagliafico, limped off on 11 minutes with an ankle injury, with Daley Sinkgraven coming on.

Ajax failed to make the Top 20 of the Deloitte chart. Massimiliano Allegri's side have suffered three defeats in their last six games, and two of their last five Champions League home fixtures, as many as they had in their previous 45 in the competition.

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Juventus heaved a huge sigh of relief when Neres broke through and Van De Beek set up Ziyech inside the penalty area.

Juventus substitute Moise Kean fired wide after being slipped through by Ronaldo, but Ajax continued to call the tune and Pjanic stuck out a foot to deny Ziyech the simplest of tap-ins. In an interview before Christmas he revealed that scouting reports were provided for both the defender and his Ajax team-mate Frenkie de Jong who will play for Barcelona next season after signing a €75million deal in January.

"But Ajax is back, in the last four, after a 2-1 win at the serial Italian champions, an achievement that must be ranked among the greatest ever of a Dutch sports team, already".

With Juventus looking to end their Champions League drought of 23 years, there is no player more suited to the task of carrying them all the way than the Portuguese forward.

Fans and experts had questioned Ronaldo's decision to leave Madrid for Juventus.

Allegri added: "In Amsterdam we could have, and should have done better".

Ronaldo has also scored in his last five Champions League games against Ajax, for a total of eight goals. "Saturday we have to close out the Scudetto".

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