Ronaldo's goal was cancelled out by David Neres' equalizer as both sides settled for a draw
Though Juventus have got a crucial away goal, they were far from impressive, and it is all to play for in the second leg of the quarter-final at Turin. Ajax played well from the off and looked in control for most of the game. They will be full of confidence, heading into the second leg. Let’s take a look at the talking points of the game.
#5 Ajax dominated the game
Ajax pretty much dominated the game in its entirety, as Juventus only managed a couple of good chances in either half. The Ajax players constantly pushed forward and found tons of space in the opposition third, but failed to capitalize on all the chances they got. Ajax could have easily been up by two or three goals by the time the game ended.
Juventus weren’t as fortunate going forward, as Ajax defenders did their job brilliantly to deny the likes of Ronald and Mandzukic any clear chances, as the latter had a bad day in the office. Defensive solidity and ample courage going forward showed that Ajax were the better team on the night.
#4 Ajax youngsters continue to shine
Five of the eleven that started today for Ajax were below the age of 24, including skipper de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong, van de Beek, Andre Onana and goal scorer David Neres.
While Onana and de Ligt provided defensive cover for Ajax, the rest have been key figures in the attack in the league and Europe this season. The youngsters show great levels of maturity at such a young age and have the courage to take on big teams. They have proven to be vital in Ajax’s triumphs this season.
#3 Ronaldo rises to the occasion
After two weeks out injured, Ronaldo returned to play for Juventus since his hat-trick against Atletico Madrid. Ronaldo, who was deemed fit to play only a couple of days ago took his time to warm up as the game went on. And right before half time, Joao Cancelo picked out Ronaldo with an excellent cross, who had to cover up some distance to head it brilliantly past Onana. This goal increased his tally of goals in the Champions League to a record 125 goals, as he once again becomes the provider for his team with an important away goal.
#2 Introduction of Douglas Costa proved to be effective
Douglas Costa came on for Mario Mandzukic, who was the captain in the absence of Chiellini in the 60th minute and had an immediate impact on the game. His pace and physicality caused havoc down the left wing, as Veltman found it a little difficult to keep up with the Brazilian.
He came the closest to scoring amongst any of the Juventus players after dribbling past two Ajax defenders and taking a shot that deflected off the upright. Juventus had a lot more chances created after his introduction in the second half.
#1 All to play for in the second leg
Juventus have an away goal and home advantage going into the second leg of the quarter-finals. Despite these advantages, they will have to be cautious of an Ajax side that beat Real Madrid 4-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Ajax will be hoping to bring their high intensity attacking game to the Allianz Stadium against a Juventus side that are unbeaten at home since the 8th of November. Either team can win it in Turin, and you can expect both teams to give their everything in an exciting return leg next week.