Ajax stun Juventus to reach Champions League semis

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ajax will face either Tottenham or Manchester City in the Champions League semis.

In an age of ever-increasing European dominance by the heavyweight clubs in Europe's five major leagues, Ajax - who were 250-1 outsiders at the start of the competition - are striking a blow for the forgotten nations by defying some of the favourites.

Justice is a euphoric feeling and, 10 minutes before half-time, a patient counter-attack saw Hakim Ziyech direct a shot on goal which - deflected through a wall of Juve defenders - came to the feet of Donny van de Beek.

Add up the sum total of the transfer fees paid by Ajax last summer and it comes to just under half the €112 million which Juve paid to secure Ronaldo from Real Madrid.

Ajax are a team to be feared and not to be underestimated.

Cristiano Ronaldo shook his head as he walked off the field, while the Ajax players and staff celebrated with their fans long after the final whistle.

Winger Douglas Costa is "not in the best physical shape" after a calf problem and won't be able to play the whole game, but could play for half an hour.

But they immediately fought back through Donny van de Beek, and Matthijs de Light's header with just over 20 minutes to go sealed the victory. 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. Dominant in the air and extraordinarily strong in the tackle, De Ligt is confident when distributing the ball.

"We will see who is coming to the semi-final and then we have to show the same". If not, which side do you think will win the Champions League?

The second half was one dominated by Ajax, with their 19-year-old captain Matthijs de Ligt leaping highest from a corner to score in the 67th minute.

"In the last month we have been struggling with several injuries - even tonight we were missing important players - so it was not easy to reach top form".

"No, absolutely not. Ronaldo has given us a lot over the course of the campaign, but when you reach the quarter-final, you need every player", he said.

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

Juventus now turn their focus back to Serie A where they can win an eighth consecutive title on Saturday.



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