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.
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.
Moise Kean became Italy’s second youngest ever goal scorer last night when he netted for the Azzurri in their Euro 2020 qualifier against Finland. Kean scored Italy’s second in the 74th minute after Nicolo Barella had put the home side ahead four minutes earlier. Barella’s strike also made him the first Cagliari player to net for Italy since 2013.
Italian papers Corriere dello Sport and Gazzetta both carried the same headline “Yes We Kean”
Italy’s next fixture will again be at home, this time in Parma against minnows Liechtenstein, who lost 2-0 to Greece in their opening game.
TuttoSport carried a slightly different headline, but also praised the young Juve forward- “Grande Kean, Grande Italia”. It also talked about the 40,000 strong crowd expected for Juve Women’s clash against Fiorentina.
Is it time for Spallexit? Inter fans may certainly be feeling so after last night, which saw their team crash out of Europe following a 1-0 loss at home to Eintracht Frankfurt. Having drawn the first leg 0-0 in Germany, Inter would’ve been favourites to progress at the San Siro, but an early Luka Jovic goal put paid to their hopes. It’s been a disastrous European campaign for the Nerazzurri, first failing to qualify from a Champions League group that also consisted of Barca, Spurs and PSV (they needed to beat PSV at home on the final match day, but failed to do so!), and now bowing out of the EL in the Round of 16.
The Italian papers, full of praise for Cristiano after his performance against Atleti, were blunt in their assessment of Inter’s exit.
CdS ran the wonderful headline “Patatracht”, a play on the Italian word (patatrac) and Eintracht’s name. TuttoSport went with “Che Disastro”. GdS chose “Notte Fonda” (dead night)
Inter’s exit now means Napoli are the last Italian team left in the Europa League, and they’ve been given tough last eight opposition in the form of Arsenal, who beat Rennes 3-0 at home to overturn a 3-1 deficit from the first leg at the Roazhon.