AMSTERDAM, April 10 (Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo produced yet another quality goal to help Juventus to a 1-1 draw at Ajax Amsterdam in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie on Wednesday.
Juventus took the lead on the stroke of halftime as Portuguese forward Ronaldo began an attacking move inside his own half before sprinting down field and diving to head in a clever chip from Joao Cancelo.
Ajax equalised 30 seconds into the second half after Cancelo lost control of the ball to allow David Neres to run down the left wing, cut inside and curl the ball past Juve goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.
The result leaves the Serie A side in a strong position to advance to the semi-finals in next week’s return leg in Turin. However, they will be mindful of Ajax’s 4-1 away win over Real Madrid in the last round that eliminated the holders 5-3 on aggregate.
Barcelona hang on for narrow first-leg win against Manchester United
A lacklustre Barcelona held on for a 1-0 win against Manchester United in their Champions League quarterfinal first leg at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.
The visitors took an early lead in the mouthwatering quarterfinal tie when Luis Suarez’s back-post header from a Lionel Messi cross glanced off Luke Shaw’s shoulder and into the net for an own goal.
Initially the goal was ruled out for offside after the line judge had raised his flag, but a quick look at VAR showed the call on the field was wrong and Barcelona were rightly given the 1-0 lead.
The game was stopped briefly right around the half-hour mark when Chris Smalling flattened Messi and left him with a bloody nose, requiring the Barca talisman to momentarily leave the pitch.
Despite Barca looking the better of the two team in the opening half, the hosts did have a clear-cut chance for an equaliser before the break when Diogo Dalot headed back across goal from an Ashley Young cross when he should have tried to score.
Barcelona were surprisingly short of ideas after the restart and Suarez fired their only good chance of the opening 20 minutes of the second half into the side netting from a Nelson Semedo through ball.
Soon after Ernesto Valverde made two changes, brining on Arturo Vidal for Philippe Coutinho and Sergi Roberto for Arthur Melo. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer followed suit as Romelu Lukaku made way for Anthony Martial.
Neither team could find a goal as regular time expired setting up a big return leg at the Camp Nou on April 16 with a spot in the Champions League semifinals on the line