The Champions League encounter between Ajax and Real Madrid was one to remember, as the two sides gave their very best in the first leg of a promising tie.
Following a 2-1 away win for Los Blancos, we take a look at the five talking points from an enthralling outing for both teams:
#1 Ajax begin with purpose
Ajax looked menacing right from the beginning, and there were times when Real Madrid looked visibly flustered trying to deal with them.
In the first half, Ajax had the better chances, and hit the woodwork through Dusan Tadic while also going close otherwise. It has to be said that Madrid were lucky not to go behind, especially after what transpired towards the end of the first period.
#2 VAR comes into play
Perhaps the turning point of the game, and what might be the turning point of the tie as well, Ajax scored in the first half through Nicolas Tagliafico and sent their fans into delirium.
However, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) spoiled the party for the home side as replays showed that Dusan Tadic may have been in an offside position and even impeded goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Nobody seemed to understand much of it, and it was a major let off for Real Madrid who looked second best till that time.
#3 Vinicius joins the party
One of the highlights of the game was the form of Vinicius Jr. The youngster has shown why his manager persists with him in the first team, and put in a wonderful display once again.
He provided the assist for Karim Benzema to score the opening goal of the game, and overall looked menacing whenever he got forward. Definitely one for the future.
#2 Sergio Ramos at his best
Captain marvel Sergio Ramos was at his experienced best in this one, even though things took a turn for the worst towards the end. Ramos didn’t panic when Madrid were under the coche, and fired back when he had to.
Following Ajax’s equalizer, a calm head at the back proved to work wonders for the visitors and Ramos was largely to thank as he went about his work with typical ease. Not to forget, this was his 600th appearance for Los Blancos.
Sergio Ramos 1 game away from 600 for Real Madrid
#1 Ramos to miss second leg
As good as he was, Sergio Ramos picked up a second yellow card in the tournament, as a result of which he will be banned from playing in the second leg of the tie.
In the 89th minute, a rather needless bit of madness ended in the Spaniard receiving a yellow that will see him suspended for the home game that could still see the tide turn in Ajax’s favor.