Ajax

Masimiliano Allegri reveals the one Ajax player that was unstoppable.

The Juventus boss praised the player and said he was the real source of the player.

David Neres cancelled out Cristiano Ronaldo’s header as Ajax and Juventus played out an absorbing 1-1 draw in their Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday. Ronaldo was fit to feature after recovering from a thigh injury suffered on international duty with Portugal last month – put the visitors ahead on the stroke of half-time, striding into the penalty area before throwing himself at a cross to thunder a header beyond goalkeeper Andre Onana. That lead lasted less than a minute of the second period, however, as Neres curled home his third Champions League goal of the campaign – a leveller that was the very least Erik ten Hag’s side deserved for a display full of energy and attacking intent. Juventus were lucky to leave Johan Cruijff Arena with a draw with dominant Ajax nearly outclassing them. After the game, Juventus boss Masimiliano Allegeri reveals the one Ajax player that was unstoppable.

Massimiliano Allegri admits Barcelona-bound Frenkie De Jong was too much to handle. Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri praised Ajax and Frenkie De Jong after seeing his side battle to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final in Amsterdam. Cristiano Ronaldo returned from injury and headed Juve into the lead just before half-time but Ajax fully deserved the equaliser scored by David Neres straight from the restart and pushed hard for a winner. Barcelona-bound De Jong ran the game from the middle of the park and Allegri admitted he was not able to shackle him. “De Jong is the real source of their game,” Allegri said on uefa.com. “We tried to control him with (Rodrigo) Bentancur in the early stages but, when he understood that, he moved deeper, and the forwards had to work hard on him. He played very well. Ajax have great qualities. They keep the ball well even when there are no spaces. I think we defended well even if we had to be better when we won the ball in midfield.”

“We suffered after their goal because we were a bit shocked to concede immediately after the break but we defended well and finished the game better.” A draw was the very least Erik ten Hag’s side deserved for a display full of energy and attacking intent. Donny van de Beek and Hakim Ziyech will reflect on missed opportunities that could have given the Eredivisie side an advantage ahead of the return fixture in Italy, though Juve could have snatched an undeserved win in the closing stages when substitute Douglas Costa hit the post.

Author’s Take:

Juventus were well off the pace and Ajax will be hoping that their squandered chances in the first half do not come back to haunt them. Barcelona bound Frenkie De Jong ran the Champions League quarter-final first leg to the point that not even Cristiano Ronaldo could fire Juventus to victory

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