Injury-hit Juventus prepare for Ajax kids

Tanya Simon
April 17, 2019

Cristiano Ronaldo will spearhead Juventus' old guard as they look to finish the job on Tuesday against Ajax's impressive young guns in a quarter-final clash between two sides desperate to end years of Champions League heartbreak.

Juventus shares were down 17.7 percent at 1.39 euros at 0730 GMT after plunging almost 21 percent when trading in Milan began. He said: "Juventus are the favourites, especially after the Amsterdam result".

Ajax are the first team from outside England, Germany, Spain, Italy and France to reach the last four since compatriots PSV Eindhoven did so 14 years ago.

And the Dutch visitors held on, with Ronaldo unable to make a difference after his incredible hat-trick had pulled Juventus into the quarter-finals in the last-16 win over Atletico Madrid.

It's the first time the Champions League semi-final will not feature the Portuguese superstar for nine years, according to the statistics website Opta. "Even tonight we were missing important players".

Ajax will play either Manchester City or Tottenham in the semifinals.

But Ajax battled level as Donny van de Beek controlled Hakim Ziyech's shot and slotted past Wojciech Szczesny.

Kanu: Ajax can beat Juventus at...

"This year we won two competitions out of four, which is good, it's 50%".

Not only were Juventus beaten but they were outclassed by a team whose fluid, geometric passing left them chasing shadows and who possessed something Juventus lacked - a clear playing style.

La Repubblica lamented Juventus's continuing failed search for a third European crown; their last came in beating Ajax on penalties in the 1996 final.

However, despite the shock defeat and exit in the Champions League, Allegri reaffirmed his commitment to the club, stating that he had already told club Chairman Andrea Agnelli that he wanted to stay. Ronaldo scored the usual goal but it was just too much.

And, despite conceding that they were coming up against a quality side, De Jong revealed the plan was always the same, adding: "Juve are very strong, very disciplined, we showed in the second half the team we could be".

Although United have star-studded forward line-up, they usually have to rely on the services of their goal-keeper David de Gea in crucial games.

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