Real Net Late Winner At Ajax As VAR Takes Centre Stage
UEFA Champions League
Result: Ajax Amsterdam 1-2 Real Madrid
Date: 13 February 2019
Venue: Johan Cruijff Arena
Real Madrid struck late in the second half to secure a 2-1 win over Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam in the UEFA Champions League round of 16.
Los Blancos were without the services of Raphael Varane, although Gareth Bale returned to the side in place of Lucas Vazquez.
It was the home side who looked lively early on as Hakim Ziyech and David Neres caused a few problems in the final third as Los Blancos found it tough to settle.
The host went agonisingly close to taking the lead after 25 minutes when Dusan Tadic rattled the frame of the goal with a volley from the edge of the box.
Ajax thought they had taken the lead 10 minutes later when Nicolás Tagliafico nodded home from close range, but after consultation with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) the goal was ruled out for an offside.
The visitors came out firing in the second half and they nearly went ahead after 50 minutes when Dani Carvajal played in Karim Benzema, who saw his first-time strike saved by Andre Onana.
Benzema was not to be denied on the hour mark as the Frenchman rifled the ball into the top corner after some brilliant work by Vinicius Junior in the build-up.
Ajax were level with 15 minutes remaining as Neres broke free down the left before cutting the ball back for Ziyech, who slotted into the bottom corner.
However, the defending champions secured the winning goal with four minutes remaining in the half, with substitute Marco Asensio finishing off a superb cross from Carvajal.