On Wednesday night, the second batch of Champions League quarter-final second legs took place. Barcelona recorded a win at Manchester United, while Ajax and Juventus played out a draw in Amsterdam. Here is what happened in those potentially vital Champions League quarter-finals:
Shaw own goal gives Barcelona narrow first-leg win
Barcelona recorded a narrow 1-0 win at Manchester United’s Old Trafford, with Luke Shaw’s early own goal enough to give the Catalan giants the edge in the tie.
United had the first effort on goal on four minutes, as forward Marcus Rashford fired a powerful free-kick just wide of goal. However, Barcelona were in control of the game courtesy of dominating the ball.
The reigning La Liga champions made that possession count on 12 minutes by taking the lead. Luis Suarez headed a Lionel Messi cross back post cross, only for the effort to deflect into the net off United full-back Luke Shaw. The goal was disallowed due to offside before VAR intervened to show that there was no offence leading up to the goal.
At the other end of the pitch, midfielder Scott McTominay went down under a challenge from Barcelona’s Gerard Pique in the penalty area. However, the officials dismissed the home sides claims.
However, it was Barcelona who came closest to finding the target next on 36 minutes, as David de Gea produced a good save with his feet to prevented Philippe Coutinho from doubling the visitors lead.
The Red Devils should have equalised on 41 minutes, as Portuguese youngster Diogo Dalot headed wide at the far post at a good cross from Rashford. England striker Rashford sliced wide of goal six minutes into the second period, while Suarez fired a powerful effort into the side-netting.
Neither side had any other attempt of note, as United failed to register a shot on target in the competition for the first time since 2005. The Red Devils are now still underdogs to progress from the tie.
Ajax hold Juventus in Amsterdam
Dutch giants Ajax held Italian champions Juventus 1-1 at the Johan Cruyff Arena, to give themselves a chance of making the last four of the competition.
Ajax started well with their high-press noticeable from kick-off. However, it was the visitors who had the first sniff of goal, as winger Federico Bernadeschi fired narrowly over the bar.
The Dutch side then went on to control the first period, with the visitors struggling to escape their own half. Midfielder Donny van de Beek came close to opening the scoring, as his effort came within inches of finding the far corner of the Juventus goal.
Despite the home sides first home dominance, it was the visitors and that man Cristiano Ronaldo who opened the scoring. The Portuguese forward headed home a Joao Cancelo cross on the stroke of half-time for the potentially crucial away goal.
The home side were not behind long, equalising within 30 seconds of the second half. Cancelo’s heavy touch allowed Brazilian winger David Neres to nip in and steal the ball. He then outpaced the full-back, cut inside and smashed a low effort into the far corner of the net.
The home side continued to control the game, with their high-intensity play causing major problems. Young substitute Jurgen Ekkelenkamp came close to marking his Champions League debut with a goal, only for Wojciech Szczesny to produced a full-length save to deny the 19-year-old.
At the other end, Douglas Costa beat Joel Veltman before seeing his powerful effort on goal rebound back off the post.
Ajax certainly showed that their elimination of Real Madrid in the last round was not a fluke. However, the Dutch giants face a massive task in Turin in progressing into the semi-finals of the competition.
Who will progress from Wednesday night’s Champions League quarter-finals?