Real Madrid edge Ajax 2-1 on road in Champions League

Carrie Guzman
February 14, 2019

Real Madrid coach Santi Solari hailed his team's ability to suffer and then hit back after Wednesday's 2-1 Champions League round-of-16 first-leg win at Ajax.

The hosts were the stronger side in the first half of the Champions League last-16 first leg at Johan Cruijff ArenA and thought they had gone ahead when Nicolas Tagliafico headed in a rebound after a Courtois error.

Yet referee Damir Skomina called for a VAR check and after a number of replays, ruled that Tadic had been standing in an offside position when the goal was scored.

Ramos welcomed VAR's intervention, telling Movistar: "I'm an advocate of VAR".

"I have said many times that I am a great defender of the VAR because it will make football fairer little by little", added Ramos. "Sometimes it has been harmful to us, and today it ruled out an important goal".

At the final whistle, he spoke to the media and was asked about this milestone, to which the captain replied: "I've got a lot of memories". "When it happened I thought it could be offside".

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It was the same feeling against United with a lot of chances. "Unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable", Pochettino said. However, we have to give a very notable mention to Tom Heaton, who put in a similarly impressive performance for Burnley.

"Because of his (Tadic's) intention I made a quick movement".

"I think it was the correct decision and luckily for us there was VAR because otherwise nobody would have seen it".

The first half witnessed Ajax's high pressure on the Madrid defense. "We underperformed against Heracles and Feyenoord in the league", he said of recent domestic defeats that left Ajax off the pace in the Dutch title race.

"It is an option to start with him and Dusan Tadic in attack, but Kasper Dolberg and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar are also great strikers who give us options", the coach said. "Too bad it did not yield a better result". We did, but you have to be more ruthless. "We changed to look for balls into space and to break the lines". "Perhaps something like that is easy to do in favour of the big club", Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong said.

Those two games highlighted the question Solari has to resolve in Holland: against Barcelona he played the experienced Marcelo at left back and watched as Barca picked on the Brazilian time and again, exposing his poor positioning and clearly marking him as the weak link in the Madrid defense.

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