On Tuesday night the second legs of the Quarter-finals kicked off and ended in surprising fashion. For Ajax it was a night to remember while for Manchester United it was one to forget.
Both Ajax and Barcelona prevailed and were worthy recipients of reaching the Champions League Semi-final.
Ajax vs Juventus
If we want to look back at the last time Ajax qualified for the Champions League semi-final we would need to go back 22 years. The game was a thrilling one that went down to the wire. Ajax went down after just 28 minutes courtesy of a Cristiano Ronaldo header. But that lead never lasted long as Donny Van de Beek equalized just before halftime. Juventus were looking to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the 5th consecutive season but that was all spoiled late into the game by the young Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt. The 19 year old super star rose highest from a corner and nodded the ball home and winning Ajax the game 2-1.
This young Dutch side has been full of surprises throughout the Competition. They’ve continued to be the underdogs but they’ve also continued to come out on top. They’ve now beaten the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Juventus. This is something unimaginable for them but is something that is well deserved. Their entire squad costs 50 million but they’ve managed to pick off squads that are worth triple that. Ronaldo alone costs more than their entire squad which is saying something. They have put together a great young team that look likely to have a bright future ahead of them. They will meet Tottenham in the semi-final which will be a great spectacle with both teams both playing a creative style of football.
United vs Barcelona
Manchester United came to the Camp Nou knowing that it would take a miracle to beat a Barcelona side that’s extremely strong at home. They had already lost at home 1-0 last week and needed two goals away from home. They could not achieve a miracle as they were rather embarrassed at by Barcelona, losing the game 3-0 and 4-0 on aggregate. Lionel Messi scores an impressive brace while Philippe Coutinho scored a stunner. United were their own enemies on the night conceding some sloppy goals. Ashley Young with a slip up caused the first goal while David De Gea made an awful attempt at a save and saw the ball roll in under him.
The Messi Factor
Messi continued his incredible record against English sides having. He has now scored 24 goals in just 32 games. Messi would’ve relished the night after the first leg where he suffered a facial injury that reduced him from playing to his full capability. He is now the highest scorer in the Champions League this season. He will have to be at his very best as Barcelona will be taking on an incredibly strong Liverpool side who are determined to break their duck of not winning the Champions League since 2005.
More To Come
The Champions League is set for a great final leg of games. With the sides remaining in the tournament everyone can look forward to exciting football. Who will will come out on top? We’ll have to wait and see.