Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Ajax vs Real Madrid: how and where to watch

Real fledglings face off against Ajax's talented young guns Solari the man for Real job, says Mijatovic
Shannon Reynolds | 14 February, 2019, 07:00

The visitors came out firing in the second half and they almost went ahead after 50 minutes when Dani Carvajal played in Karim Benzema, who saw his first-time strike saved by Andre Onana.

Yet Skomina called for a VAR check and, after a number of replays, ruled that Tadic had been standing in an offside position when the goal was scored.

But two minutes later, Ramos received a yellow card which means he will now miss the return leg at the Santiago Bernabeu but will be available for the quarter-final if Madrid qualify for the last eight.

There was undoubtedly the presence of Dusan Tadic to factor into the equation, who stands in the way of Courtois as the Belgian looks to claim a loose ball inside his penalty area, but the former Southampton midfielder would feel incredibly hard done by had the goal been ruled out for obstruction.

Vinicius Junior has had less playing time than Ajax's de Jong, with only six starts in LaLiga and one in the Champions League, but the Brazilian's impact has been arguably just as dramatic as the Dutchman.

Ajax were not finished, though, and with 15 minutes left they sliced Real open again with Ziyech converting a low cross from David Neres.

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Ten Hag said Real would be favourites with Ajax still short of experience at the highest level after finishing second in the group phase behind Bayern Munich. But we continued well and also had our chances afterwards. "We're approaching it with maximum respect", said Solari.

"It will be a pity but I have to rest, but I hope to play many more games and keep representing Madrid as captain", said Ramos. After a mistake from opposition goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, the Argentine full back was able to apply close-range finish, but VAR disallowed his effort.

There is also a view that Bale can be very effective using his pace against exhausted rivals in the last 20 minutes of games as he did on Saturday.

Vinicius beat Noussair Mazraoui on the left wing, cut inside, found Benzema and the French striker smashed home the opening goal.

Ajax played well despite their defeat and Madrid were made to work for the win.

"[Vinicius] did well, but they all did", the Argentine said.

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