Here are the reactions from the Italian press after Erik ten Hag’s Ajax knocked out Max Allegri’s Juventus in Turin last night. Juve were the better rested side, but apart from the first 20 minutes, didn’t look like one as Ajax booked their spot in the last four of the Champions League for the first time in 20 overs. Ronaldo’s “throne” (see the GOT style headline before the game), was conquered.
The Juve side this year has been dependent on three players- goalkeeper Szczesny, defender Chiellini and striker Ronaldo. Chiellini was not available for this fixture, Ronaldo scored Juve’s only goal of the game and Szczesny produced several top class saves to prevent what could’ve potentially been a 5-1 or 6-1 to Ajax instead of the 2-1 they won by. A classic example of poor Juve defending was for Ajax’s match winning goal- a fantastic header from De Ligt, that saw him first to a corner despite two opposition players marking him.
Gazzetta went with the headline “Fine Corsa” (end of run), a play on the popular Juve phrase Fino alla Fine (until the end).
CdS went with “Apocalisse”- pretty self explanatory.
Tutto played tribute to the visitors, calling them “Grande Ajax” (Great Ajax). They carried a photo of De Ligt, unlike GdS and CdS, both of whom went with Ronaldo.
Ajax will now play either Man City or Spurs in the last four.
Here is a look at what the Italian papers have to say ahead of Juventus’ second leg Champions League clash against Ajax Amsterdam. The Bianconeri drew 1-1 in Amsterdam, and Ajax will be hopeful of doing a Bernabeu encore in Turin. Juve though will draw strength from their stunning 3-0 win over Atleti, and the architect of that magnificent win- Cristiano Ronaldo.
Gazetta ran a Ronaldo Game of Thrones newspaper headline today (My throne cannot be touched). The Portuguese superstar also features prominently in TS and CdS- he’s very much the face of Juve’s Champions League campaign in the press there.
There are also mentions of Conte being a potential target for Bayern as well as the Empoli goalkeeper (Dragowski)’s stunning performance to keep Atalanta at bay.
Karim Benzema has effectively been carrying Real Madrid on his shoulders this season, and there was more evidence of it on Monday night against Leganes, a game that Zinedine Zidane’s side drew 1-1. Real went behind to Silva’s opener, only for Benzema to equalise six minutes after the interval. The French striker almost produced a sumptuous assist for Marcelo as well.
Only Asensio and Benzema escaped with some kind of credit in these press ratings (everyone else got the standard 1), while Marca ran the headline “Otra Vez Solo Benzema” (once again only Benzema)
The Italian press wasn’t too chuffed with Napoli’s performance at the Emirates last night. Carlo Ancelotti’s side were expected to give the Gunners a tough fight, but lost 2-0, with Aaron Ramsey (a soon to be Juve player), opening the scoring and Kalidou Koulibaly scoring an own goal. It could’ve been more, but for some fine saves from Alex Meret and profligacy on part of the home side.
Un Napoli Imbarazzante (an embarrassing Napoli) ran CdS. Gazzetta were quick to remind readers that a future Juve player had scored against the Partenopei.
All’s not lost yet for Napoli, especially given Arsenal’s struggles on the road this season, but it will be a tall order for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
Barca registered their first ever win at Old Trafford over Manchester United last night, edging the Red Devils 1-0. Luis Suarez’s header, turned into his own goal by Luke Shaw, was the difference between the two sides at the final whistle. The goal was initially not awarded as the linesman raised his flag, but VAR came to the Blaugrana’s rescue, indicating that Suarez had been onside and that the goal was legitimate.
Here is MD’s reaction to Barca’s win- “Bosses of the Theatre”, a reference to Old Trafford being called the Theatre of Dreams.