It an eventful two days in the Champions League full of drama, heartbreak and entertainment. Here are Things we Learned from the UCL quarter-finals. You can bet on the Champions League here.
Ajax can play with the big boys
Few believed that Ajax could pull off a sensation win at Juventus in the Champions League quarter final second leg. The first win away at Juventus since 1974 was a castle in the air for many Ajax supporters and even neutrals. The young core weren’t fazed by the critics, pundits and fans saying this was the end of the road. They produced another superb performance to inflict defeat and unbearable agony on another European big hitter. They registered a 2-1 defeat on Cristiano Ronaldo’s team and will grace the last four for the first time since 1997. What a run it’s been for the unfancied Ajax.
Juve lack of continuity in the UCL
Juventus last Champions League triumph came 23 years ago when they beat Ajax on penalties. This season, they acquired one of the world’s best players, Ronaldo, who had won three straight Champions League trophies to take them to glory. However, that was not the case as they were outclassed by a less fancied Ajax team in 180 minutes. Now, questions must be asked about how a very talented and experienced squad failed to get past Ajax, a team who fielded a team with an average age of 24. Head coach Massimiliano Allegri replaced Antonio Conte to provide that continuity in Europe but has lost two finals already. Do they still keep Allegri and try again next season?
Spurs oust City in a thriller to end their quadruple dream
City and Spurs played a thrilling second leg match that had everything; amazing goals, drama, entertainment and heartbreak. City won the match 4-3 but Spurs went through on goal difference. At the 11-th minute mark, it was 2-2 and 4-2 at the 59th minute. An absolute thriller. This game however was full of VAR drama when City thought they had won at the death. Now, City’s dream of quadruple has been crushed in spectacular fashion and they will have to give it a go next season. Spurs now prepare to face another team with an amazing run, Ajax Amsterdam.
Man United need a serious rebuild
Another miracle for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s United was not to come at the Nou Camp where they lost 3-0 to Barcelona in the second leg. After a positive start to the match, United couldn’t convert their chances. However, it took two individual mistakes from Ashley Young and David De Gea for Barca to score two goals. Since then, United did not threaten Barca who were in complete control. Barca looked like a team United want to be, full of quality and experience. Ole has a massive job next season, first, to strengthen in some departments and challenge for trophy. Nevertheless, this will take a few years for them to look anything like the team that played with swagger ten years ago.
Messi needed only a few moments at the Nou Camp to stamp his foot on the game. He scored two goals in five minutes to put the result beyond doubt. The double took his goals tally to 45 in 42 games this season making him the top scorer in this season’s Champions League. He looks to win the top scorers title for the first time since 2015. The Argentine also scored against them in both the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals.