VAR produced the right decision in disallowing Ajax goal - Thibaut Courtois

Ajax v Real Madrid Five stars who could follow De Jong into the big time

Sergio Ramos, making a 600th appearance for Real, backed the intervention of VAR and warned Ajax they will face a daunting task in the second leg.

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. Their previously solid defense crumbled late last month in a 6-2 defeat to archrival Feyenoord and Erik ten Hag's team slumped to a 1-0 defeat on Saturday to Heracles Almelo.

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

"I feel now they might be more afraid than before", Courtois said.

"His adaptation has been very fast", Solari 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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Ajax got the goal their play deserved with 15 minutes remaining as Ziyech side-footed home after a sweeping move, latching on to a delivery from David Neres on the left. But it started confidently and Tadic almost gave Ajax the lead, his 26th-minute shot hitting the post after beating Courtois.

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.

They were also denied a first-half opener when Nicolas Tagliafico headed home only for the goal to be chalked off after a VAR check in a Champions League first as Dusan Tadic was judged offside.

Ajax claimed a foul in the build-up to the goal, but this time the VAR did not intervene and Real will take a slender advantage back to Madrid.

Ajax are seeking to reach the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time in 16 years, while Real have not lost a tie at this stage in nearly a decade.

Real midfielder Marco Asensio, right, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the first leg, round of sixteen, Champions League soccer match between Ajax and Real Madrid at the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Wednesday Feb. 13, 2019.

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