(Photo via http://www.soccratesimages.com/)
It’s fair to say that the Champions League dominated headlines this week, as VAR drama, a lack of VAR drama and some heroic comebacks captured the imaginations of football fans across the world… unless you’re a PSG or Real Madrid fan.
AJAX PROVE IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING
As a well-known sports brand has told us over the years, ‘impossible is nothing.’
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However, having to go to Real Madrid and get a comfortable win in the Champions League is as close as it gets in footballing terms. But lo and behold, this young Ajax team went and did it. Returning to Amsterdam as heroes, this was one of the greatest nights in the modern history of Ajax and, as reported on a Recap of the Week a few weeks back, this is crucial for Dutch football as a whole.
Dusan Tadic rewarded a 10 out of 10
Sticking with the Bernabeu drama, Ajax’s Serbian playmaker was the man of the match against Real Madrid.
— L’ÉQUIPE (@lequipe) March 6, 2019
Pulling off a turn worthy of Zinedine Zidane who used to call the famous stadium home, Ajax’s number ten scored an unbelievably well-placed finish and created two goals for teammates. As such, the notoriously hard to impress French sports magazine gave him a match rating of 10 – only the ninth in their history. Taking his place on a list of perfect 10s that includes Lionel Messi (twice) and Neymar, it is worthy praise for an amazing evening’s work in Madrid.
United capture the spirit of ’99
What a difference Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made.
A few months ago, morale was low at Manchester United as a defensive minded and for the most part, uninspiring side, looked to be far removed from the great United sides of the past. Suddenly, with a club legend at the helm, they are showing some of the spirit that the club is renowned for.
An amazing comeback in Paris following a convincing first-leg defeat was completed by a last-minute penalty from Marcus Rashford who showed a cool head that his manager would have been proud to call his own. All of this, with various injuries and suspensions that meant Paul Pogba watched in the stands and Jesse Lingard from the comfort of his own home.
Neymar vs VAR
One other man missing from the pitch was Neymar Jr, as the Brazil captain works his way back to fitness.
Cameras were all over him as always though, especially as he expressed his obvious fury about the awarding of United’s last-minute VAR-aided penalty. In super slo-mo, the pictures showed the ball strike the hand/arm of an unfortunate PSG defender, but was it handball? The referee said yes but Neymar, quite colourfully, says no.
Neymar’s reaction is so priceless.
— 🥀 (@_selvis_) March 7, 2019
Hector Bellerin in Vogue
Finally, we finish away from the pitch where sadly, Hector Bellerin finds himself thanks to an injury.
However, the super fashionable Arsenal defender is keeping busy away from the game. This week, he featured in Vogue, talking fashion and football and looking as suave as ever. Fair play to the Spanish-cockney.