Champions League: Matthijs de Ligt can’t explain Ajax’s ‘bizarre’ run to the semi-final
Dutch masters send Juventus and Ronaldo crashing out of Europe
Uefa Champions League quarter-final second leg Juventus 1 Ajax 2 (2-3 on aggregate)
After beating holders Real Madrid in the last 16 Ajax caused another huge upset in the Champions League after sending Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo crashing out of the competition.
The talented Dutch side were held 1-1 by Juve in the first leg in Amsterdam last week but on Tuesday in Turin they won 2-1 on the night to secure a 3-2 aggregate victory.
Ronaldo had given Juventus the lead after 28 minutes with his 126th career goal in the Champions League but Ajax hit back with Donny van de Beek’s equaliser after 34 minutes.
Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt, 19, then scored the winner with a superb header on 67 minutes to secure another memorable away win.
Speaking after the match teenage defender and Ajax match-winner De Ligt said: “It’s bizarre. It’s not normal. I have no words for it. We have shown once again that we are very strong and that we can make it difficult for large teams.”
In the semi-finals the Dutch side will play Manchester City or Tottenham. The Premier League rivals play their second leg match at the Etihad on Wednesday.
Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag added: “We have incredible talents and, for our nation, it will get better and better. We were not favourites, but with our philosophy we again exceeded our limits.
“We know how to push boundaries every time. And with Tottenham or Manchester City there will be another challenge. We look forward to it.”
Champions League fixtures and results
Tuesday 16 April: quarter-final second-leg results
- Barcelona 3 Manchester United 0 (4-0 on aggregate)
- Juventus 1 Ajax 2 (2-3 on aggregate)
Wednesday 17 April: quarter-final second leg fixtures
- Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur (0-1 on aggregate; 8pm live on BT Sport 2)
- FC Porto vs. Liverpool (0-2 on aggregate; 8pm live on BT Sport 3)
Quarter-final first-leg results and reports
- Liverpool 2 FC Porto 0
- Tottenham Hotspur 1 Manchester City 0
- Manchester United 0 Barcelona 1
- Ajax 1 Juventus 1
Champions League semi-final draw
The semi-final first legs will be on 30 April and 1 May, and the second legs are on 7/8 May.
- Tottenham Hotspur or Manchester City vs. Ajax
- Barcelona vs. Liverpool or Porto