UEFA Champions League 2018-19: Things we learned from quarter-finals

Jose Mourinho

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.

Signing the competition's leading scorer of all time seemed like a very good way of getting over that 23 years without the title but on Tuesday they were beaten 2-1 at home by Ajax and crashed out at the quarter finals stage.

But Ajax battled level as Donny van de Beek controlled Hakim Ziyech's shot and slotted past Wojciech Szczesny.

Shares in the Turin-based club had risen sharply previous year following the signing of Ronaldo from Real Madrid.

Van de Beek, who equalised for Ajax before half-time, added via Veronica TV: "Everyone is going insane, Ajax are in the semi-final!"

Ajax settled well after that but, despite not playing well, Juventus went ahead when Ronaldo got away from the defenders to score the 126th Champions League goal of his career.

Juventus can count on fit-again superstar Cristiano Ronaldo but captain Giorgio Chiellini and forward Mario Mandzukic will miss the crunch Champions League quarter-final, second leg clash against Ajax in Turin, coach Massimiliano Allegri confirmed on Monday.

"It's unbelievable. We are so happy that we did it today and so proud of the team", De Ligt told ViaSportFotball.

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"Last season we did the double but we all felt bad about how it went in the Champions League", Messi said in August.

"Ronaldo gave us a lot during the season and especially in the Champions League", he said.

Donny van de Beek had earlier cancelled out Cristiano Ronaldo's header and the visitors were the better side from there, adding the Serie A champions to a list of vanquished heavyweights already including last-16 opponents Real Madrid. Obviously, in the second half we were the far better team. It in turn sealed the win for the Dutch side - one that Allegri thought they fully deserved.

"In the last month we have been struggling with several injuries".

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

This win is even sweeter as they overcame Ronaldo to trounce Juventus.

But Ten Hag's side's incessant pressure paid off with 19-year-old skipper De Ligt towering above Alex Sandro and Daniele Rugani to head home Lasse Schone's corner on 67 minutes.

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