HT: Ajax and Juventus all square




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Cristiano Ronaldo’s opener was cancelled out by Donny van de Beek, as Juventus and Ajax are level on the night and on aggregate in their Champions League quarter-final.

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The first leg ended 1-1, so was hanging in the balance, but both teams were forced into changes. Giorgio Chiellini was still injured, joined by Mario Mandzukic, Douglas Costa, Mattia Perin and Martin Caceres, so Paulo Dybala became centre-forward and captain, with Mattia De Sciglio rather than Joao Cancelo. Nicolas Tagliafico was suspended for the Dutch masters, replaced by Noussair Mazraoui returning from his ban, while Frenkie de Jong was able to start despite a hamstring problem.

Emre Can charged down the Andre Onana clearance and it ricocheted wide of the open goal, but Mazraoui – who was only playing on the left because of Tagliafico’s ban – turned his ankle badly and was replaced by Daley Sinkgraven.

Van de Beek prodded over under pressure from close range, while Dybala’s strike on the volley was plucked out of the air.

Juve broke through on a corner with Ronaldo’s header, although there was a VAR check for a push, but replays showed it was Matthijs de Ligt who had shoved his own teammate.

Ronaldo blasted over from a tight angle, but Ajax equalised both on the night and on aggregate when Hakim Ziyech’s wayward strike turned into an assist for Donny van de Beek to redirect in front of Wojciech Szczesny. The offside trap failed, as Federico Bernardeschi had been lagging back near the corner flag.

Cristiano Ronaldo blasted a free kick into the wall in first half stoppages.

Juventus 1-1 Ajax (2-2 agg, Half-Time)

Ronaldo 28 (J), Van de Beek

Juventus: Szczesny; De Sciglio, Bonucci, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Can, Pjanic, Matuidi; Bernardeschi, Dybala, Ronaldo

Ajax: Onana; Veltman, De Ligt, Blind, Mazraoui (Sinkgraven 10); Schöne, Van de Beek, De Jong; Ziyech, Tadic, Neres

Ref: Turpin (FRA)

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