AMSTERDAM (AP) — With a little bit lend a hand from the video assistant referee, protecting champion Actual Madrid overcame a spirited Ajax to win the primary leg of its Champions League round-of-16 fit 2-1 on Wednesday and take a large step towards the quarterfinals.
Change Marco Asensio scored a past due winner to place Madrid in a powerful place going into the second one leg on March five.
Actual, winner of the closing 3 Champions Leagues, recovered in the second one part after being outplayed via underdog Ajax earlier than the spoil at a packed Johan Cruyff Area, when the hosts had a objective disallowed via VAR.
Asensio, a 73rd-minute exchange, used to be unmarked on the a ways publish as he tapped in a go from the proper via Dani Cavajal with simply 3 mins of legislation time to move.
Ajax had appeared on target for a draw when Hakim Ziyech shot below Thibaut Courtois within the 75th minute to cancel out Karim Benzema’s opener 15 mins previous.
The Amsterdam group went into Wednesday’s fit in one thing of a kind disaster for the reason that Dutch league’s iciness spoil. Their up to now forged protection crumbled past due closing month in a 6-2 defeat to archrival Feyenoord and Erik ten Hag’s group slumped to a 1-Zero defeat on Saturday to Heracles Almelo.
However Ajax shook off its iciness shape dip earlier than the spoil, urgent Madrid prime up the pitch, combining smartly with slick, quick passes and having a look just like the group that certified 2d in its workforce in the back of Bayern Munich.
Actual went into the fit brimming with self belief from a run of six wins and one attract its closing seven suits. However it handiest truly hit its stride in the second one part, proving extra scientific in entrance of objective.
Ajax, a four-time Eu champion that closing gained the name in 1995, ruled the primary part and appeared to have taken the lead handiest to have VAR rule out Nicolas Tagliafico’s 37th minute header as a result of Dusan Tadic used to be offside status in entrance of Courtois. It used to be the primary time VAR used to be used to disallow a objective within the Champions League.
Kasper Dolberg got here as regards to levelling once more in stoppage time, however Courtois caught out a hand to dam his effort as Madrid captain Sergio Ramos used to be made to paintings arduous for the win in his 600th fit for the membership.
Within the evening’s different round-of-16 fit, Tottenham beat Dortmund Three-Zero, with the entire objectives coming in the second one part at Wembley.
In Amsterdam, Benzema struck a formidable shot previous Andre Onana at the hour after a powerful run from the left via Vinicius Junior to place the 13-time Eu champion forward.
Madrid’s lead lasted 15 mins earlier than David Neres crossed from the left and exchange Dolberg let the ball run to Ziyech, who shot low below Courtois.
Ajax, within the closing 16 of the Champions League for the primary time since 2006, had misplaced its closing six suits towards Madrid. However it began optimistically and Tadic just about gave Ajax the lead, his 26th-minute shot hitting the publish after beating Courtois.
Actual created little within the first part. Vinicius Junior got here closest for Madrid when he minimize in from the left wing and shot on the right track just for Onana to palm the ball over the bar.
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