Matthijs de Ligt realised just how much of a “predator” Cristiano Ronaldo can be in the box, but Ajax proved against Juventus “we’re not a fluke.”
Ronaldo’s diving header broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time, with David Neres equalising within 40 seconds of the restart in this Champions League quarter-final.
“It was a fiery atmosphere from the start and we had a few early chances, but unfortunately conceded just before half-time,” De Ligt told reporters.
“Ronaldo’s greatest quality, apart from his talent, is that he is a predator in the box. He sees an opportunity, just a tiny gap, and he goes for it incredibly quickly. He sprints into the area between two players.
“We know that you can’t leave gaps at the back for Juventus, as that’s what they prepare for. We passed it around and tried to find holes in their defence.
“I think we’ve done pretty well. We have a team with a lot of potential and that tends to emerge to its fullest in Champions League matches.
“We work so hard for each other. We proved today that Ajax are not in the Champions League quarter-finals because they are a fluke.
“Of course, Juventus are strong at home, everyone knows that, so it’ll be difficult in the second leg.”
Nicolas Tagliafico will be suspended, as he picked up a yellow card today.