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Ajax stun Juve and Ronaldo to set up tie with Spurs or City

Juventus 1 Ajax 2 (Ajax win 3-2 on agg)

Listen here: Matthijs de Ligt after scoring Ajax winner
Listen here: Matthijs de Ligt after scoring Ajax winner

By Robert Jones

Ajax shocked Juventus to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League with a 2-1 comeback win in Turin.

Cristiano Ronaldo gave Juventus the lead after 28 minutes with a record 126th goal in the competition, his ninth in seven meetings against Ajax.

But goals from Donny Van De Beek and Matthijs De Ligt gave Ajax a thoroughly deserved 3-2 aggregate success.

Ajax will meet Manchester City or Tottenham in their first Champions League semi-final for 22 years and most will consider them underdogs again.

But after eliminating Real Madrid, champions for the previous three seasons, and now Juventus, Erik Ten Hag's exciting young side should not be underestimated.

In what was to prove a hugely entertaining contest, both sides were slow to start.

Emre Can almost embarrassed Andre Onana when he charged down the Ajax goalkeeper's kick and the ball flew wide of a gaping goal.

But the hosts were soon ahead through a familiar source.

The unmarked Ronaldo met Miralem Pjanic's corner with a trademark thunderous header as Ajax complained of a foul on Joel Veltman.

Clement Turpin went to the sidelines for a VAR check, but the French referee's closer inspection showed that Veltman's team-mate De Ligt had actually pushed him to the ground.

But Ajax were level within six minutes when Hakim Ziyech's shot fell into Van De Beek's path and the midfielder made the most of his good fortune with an assured finish into the bottom corner.

Ajax pressure finally told after 67 minutes as De Ligt towered above Alex Sandro and Daniele Rugani to head Lasse Schone's corner past a helpless Wojciech Szczesny.

Belfast Telegraph


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