Real Madrid once again showed why they have won three Champions League titles in a row tonight. Despite not being at their best, they managed to come away with a crucial 2-1 win against Ajax at the Amsterdam Arena in the round of 16 tie.
The game had a great tempo as it ebbed and flowed and Ajax enjoyed more of the possession in the first half. Both teams went in level at half time. Karim Benzema opened the scoring for the away side around the hour mark, but the Dutch heavyweights managed to get themselves back into the game through Hakim Ziyech. However, the Galacticos had the last say as Dani Carvajal set Asensio up brilliantly for the second goal. Ajax could be blamed for being naive in the last 10-15 minutes after the equaliser, as they pressed the issue and Real Madrid caught them out in the end.
Here is how the Champions League holders fared.
Thibaut Courtois 7
VAR came to his rescue in the first half as Ajax had the ball in the net, but the goal was disallowed. Made a few crucial stops in both the halves to keep his side in the game.
Sergio Reguilon 6
Did a decent job as a left back. Nothing too brilliant, nothing too bad to talk about him.
Sergio Ramos 7.5
Played with heart and commitment yet again. Made a few brilliant tackles as he timed them to perfection.
Did a commendable job while covering for Varane as he read the dangers well and sorted them out before they could develop.
Dani Carvajal 8
Worked tirelessly down the right. Was troubled defensively in the first half but had a better game in attack in the second. His assist for the winner was brilliant as he served it on the plate for Asensio who scored the winner.
Can be partially blamed for the equaliser as he hit the ground far too softly. Plugged the gap well for most parts of the game in the holding midfield role.
Luka Modric 6
Couldn’t really get into the game much as he wasn’t given too much time on the ball by the Ajax players. Can’t fault him for his work rate.
Toni Kroos 6
Took some inviting set pieces. Had a better game in the second half but still nothing too penetrative or creative from the German.
Vinicius Junior 7.5
Linked up play well for the opening goal. Always looked bright on the ball as he tried to make things happen.
Gareth Bale 5
Got substituted early in the second half. Came back into the eleven but couldn’t influence the play much.
Karim Benzema 7
Got one decent chance to score and dispatched it without too much trouble. Like most of his team-mates, enjoyed a better second half. The goal also made him the fourth highest scorer in the history of the Champions League.
Lucas Vazquez 5
Provided fresh legs but couldn’t make an impact going forward.
Marco Asensio 6
Was at the right place at the right time to score the winner as he tapped in the ball into an empty net.
Mariano Diaz N/A
Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.
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