Uefa Champions League quarter-final first leg Ajax 1 Juventus 1
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a vital away goal for Juventus as they drew 1-1 against Ajax in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.
Returning from a thigh injury, the Portuguese star buried Joao Cancelo’s cross on 45 minutes and although Ajax equalised at the start of the second half with a sweet strike from David Neres the advantage lies with the Italians ahead of the return fixture in Turin on Tuesday 16 April.
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It was Ronaldo’s 125th goal in Europe’s top club competition - 17 more than Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, who is second behind the Juve star on the all-time list.
Of those 125 goals, 24 have come in quarter-finals, proof that when it comes to the business end of the competition Ronaldo has the killer touch.
Should Juventus lift the Champions League trophy this season it would be a fourth consecutive title for Ronaldo and sixth overall in his glittering career.
“Ronaldo showed he is on a different level,” said Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri.
“His timing and movement is different to everyone else’s, there’s nothing you can do about it.
“He’s a player who just has a different technique than the others.”
Still in it
Ajax will be encouraged by their display in what was their first Champions League quarter-final since 2003.
The Dutch side enjoyed 61% of the possession and created 19 attempts, six of which were on target. Juventus, in contrast, scored with their one effort on target.
After coming back to beat Real Madrid in the round of 16 Ajax manager Erik ten Hag is hopeful of securing another memorable second-leg result.
He said: “One-one is not the result you hope for, but it is a result. Last time we lost 2-1 to Madrid at home, so we are still in it. We had some very good opportunities.”
The winners of the Ajax-Juventus tie will play Tottenham or Manchester City in the Champions League semi-finals.
Champions League results and fixtures
Quarter-final first-leg results
- Liverpool 2 FC Porto 0
- Tottenham Hotspur 1 Manchester City 0
- Manchester United 0 Barcelona 1
- Ajax 1 Juventus 1
Quarter-final second-leg fixtures
- 16 April: Juventus vs. Ajax (1-1 on aggregate)
- 16 April: Barcelona vs. Manchester United (1-0 on aggregate)
- 17 April: Porto vs. Liverpool (0-2 on aggregate)
- 17 April: Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur (0-1 on aggregate)
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