Reuters

Ajax stun Juventus as fairytale continues

Ajax stun Juventus as fairytale continues

16/04/2019 at 21:53Updated 16/04/2019 at 22:29

Champions League quarter-finals, Allianz Stadium - Juventus 1 (Ronaldo 28) Ajax 2 (Van de Beek 34, De Ligt 67) – Ajax win 3-2 on aggregate

Matthijs de Ligt grabbed the winner as Ajax stunned Juventus to triumph 2-1 in the Allianz Stadium and book a place in the Champions League semi finals for the first time since 1997.

The young Dutch side fell behind to Cristiano Ronaldo's header shortly before the half hour, but soon levelled through the impressive Donny van de Beek's cool finish.

The visitors visibly grew in confidence as the match wore on and deservedly sealed a 3-2 victory on aggregate when their 19-year-old captain powered home a corner 23 minutes from time.

Erik ten Hag's side showed their emphatic success in the Bernabeu in the previous round was no fluke and if it was not for some superb second-half saves from Wojciech Szczesny, they would have won by a bigger margin.

Ajax will now meet Manchester City or Tottenham in the semi finals.

TALKING POINT

The Old Lady upstaged by Ajax's young guns. It had briefly looked like 34-year-old Ronaldo's love affair with this competition was going to carry on - but in the end it is a new generation of stars who will continue their fairytale in this competition. Juventus were second best throughout a one-sided second half and were soundly beaten. This Ajax side are fearless and play some terrific football. They have a plethora of rising stars that Europe's major sides are circling and they will surely shine in this competition for years to come. Sadly for Ajax supporters, it won't be with them in the future, but on this evidence they could yet stun the football world and go all the way together before this team is inevitably split up.

Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo JuventusGetty Images

MAN OF THE MATCH

Donny van de Beek (Ajax): The 21-year-old midfielder produced an energetic display that caused Juventus problems from the off. He took his goal with aplomb and linked brilliantly with Dusan Tadic, David Neres and Hakim Ziyech as the visitors tore through the home defence at will in the second half.

PLAYER RATINGS

Juventus: Szczesny 8, De Sciglio 6, Bonucci 6, Rugani 6, Alex Sandro 7, Pjanic 8, Matuidi 6, Emre Can 7, Bernardeschi 6, Dybala 6, Ronaldo 7. Subs: Kean 6, Cancelo 5, Bentancur n/a.

Ajax: Onana 6, Veltman 8, De Ligt 8, Mazraoui 5, Blind 7, van de Beek 8, Schone 7, De Jong 7, Ziyech 8, Tadic 8, Neres 7. Subs: Sinkgraven 6, Magallan n/a, Huntelaar n/a.

KEY MOMENTS

22' - AJAX CHANCE! Neres races in from the right but sees his shot from a clever flick by Tadic blocked. It falls for Donny van de Beek but he can only fire over from close-in on the stretch.

28' - GOAL! Juventus 1-0 Ajax. The hosts lead and, of course, it's you know who. Ronaldo arrives on cue to plant a firm header from Pjanic's right-wing corner into the net - (Juventus lead 2-1 on aggregate).

34' - GOAL! Juventus 1-1 Ajax. It's all square! Ajax have that away goal back as van de Beek takes a shot from distance in his stride and coolly fires into the bottom corner. (It's 2-2 on aggregate).

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. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Ge

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. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/GeGetty Images

53' - AJAX CHANCE! What a save! Juventus give the ball away deep in their own territory and the visitors pour forward. It's fed to Ziyech, but the Ajax man sees his shot brilliantly kept out by the strong arm of Szczesny.

58' - AJAX CHANCE! Szczesny produces another super save as he flings himself to his left to get fingertips to van de Beek's 25-yard curler.

67' - GOAL! Juventus 1-2 Ajax. 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).

75' - AJAX CHANCE! It should be over. Neres scuffs his volley horribly wide after racing onto Tadic's lofted pass.

KEY STATS

  • Ronaldo has scored in each of his last seven Champions League Quarter Finals games played (13 goals).
  • Ajax are the first team in history to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League after surviving three qualifying rounds.
  • Ajax have scored 32 goals in Europe in 2018-19, a club record in a European season.
  • Donny van de Beek has scored or assisted eight goals in his last seven away games for Ajax in all competitions (5 goals, 3 assists)
  • De Ligt (19 years, 247 days) is the second youngest defender to score in a CL KO match, after Joel Matip (19-240) for Schalke 04 against Inter in the quarter-finals on 5 Apr 2011.
  • De Ligt's goal was the 20th for Ajax in the Champions League by a teenager; no other team have more than 14.
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