Ronaldo won’t play with Juventus likely to clinch title

Ronaldo won’t play with Juventus likely to clinch title

Ronaldo won’t play with Juventus likely to clinch title

This week's Champions League quarter final first legs provided plenty of Portuguese involvement, with Cristiano Ronaldo and João Cancelo leading the big stories during Juventus' 1-1 draw with Ajax in Amsterdam.

However, with Napoli going through to the next round, Ajax had the chance to reclaim 11th spot for Netherlands if they achieved at least a draw in either leg against Juventus.

"We're disappointed about conceding a goal right before half-time, but in the second half we began very strongly with our equaliser.

We have great respect for Ajax, but you have to be ready".

Leading daily De Telegraaf wrote that he "drove Juventus to despair", while Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri described De Jong as "the real source of their game".

"When there is an important game, he is always there", said Juve fullback Alex Sandro of Ronaldo, who followed his hat trick which dumped out Atletico Madrid in the last-16 by scoring against Ajax for the eighth time in his Champions League career. If it was a group phase, where one point would be a possitive result.

The Dutchman said: "The last time we lost 2-1 at home to Real Madrid, so everything is still alive for us".

"Obviously the Sampdoria game was a confidence boost for us all, but for now we need to keep doing what we're doing", said Ranieri.

He also confirmed that 19-year-old Moise Kean will return to the starting line up, after his impressive recent goalscoring run.

Donny van de Beek had an even better opening in the 25th minute when he was found by Dusan Tadic 15 yards out but his first touch was heavy and he could only drill a shot wide. Either one of Nicolussi Caviglia and Coccolo could play tomorrow. Just seconds after the whistle that began the second half, Ajax forward David Neres scored his first goal of the season.

Ajax kept putting on pressure on the visitors, However, despite some shots from Nicolas Tagliafico and Ziyech, the domination did not lead to goals.

Escaping his marker, Ronaldo's header then had enough power to beat Andre Onana and give the Italians a crucial away goal.

Ronaldo's goals per 90 ratio in the group stage of the Champions League is 0.78. Neres dispossessed Cancelo and drove into the box before curling home. They will have to do so without Nicolas Tagliafico, however, who will be suspended after picking up a caution in the first half.

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