Ajax 1 Real Madrid 2: Asensio strikes late after VAR controversy

Michael Owen reveals his prediction for Ajax v Real Madrid

Substitute Marco Asensio scored a late victor to put Madrid in a strong position going into the second leg on March 5.

Asensio, a 73rd-minute substitute, was unmarked at the far post as he tapped in a cross from the right by Dani Cavajal with just three minutes of regulation time to go.

"We can be proud of the team", he said. "He did everything he had to do from the moment he came into the pitch". We are very happy, especially for Marco Asensio, how he played, and for his goal, which was very important.

When: Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 12 p.m. PT.

While Madrid have found momentum in recent weeks, Ajax appear to have lost theirs.

"It's up to us to pick ourselves up", said the Ajax boss.

What time does Ajax vs Real Madrid start where you are? We did, but you have to be more ruthless. "Real will feel more pressure in front of their own fans".

I think Ajax have shown in the Champions League they can do really well.


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 not finished, though, and with 15 minutes left they sliced Real open again with Ziyech converting a low cross from Neres.

But Tadic came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock when he held off Sergio Ramos only to see his shot come back off the foot of a post.

Karim Benzema swept holders Real into the lead in the second half, before Hakim Ziyech scored a deserved equaliser as an energetic Ajax created more than enough chances to win comfortably on the night.

Real head into the match full of confidence after a 3-1 win in the Madrid derby at the weekend, which was their sixth victory in a seven-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, whose blushes were spared by the VAR decision after his error led to the disallowed goal, felt the officials got it right.

Ajax will parade their latest crop of young gems at the Johan Cruyff Arena, where Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt will attempt to live up to already-swelling reputations while the likes of Donny van de Beek, Andre Onana and Kasper Dolberg could also enhance theirs.

Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari will have to decide between youth and experience as his side looks to take another step towards a historic fourth consecutive Champions League title on Wednesday.

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