Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspurs, clinched huge wins in tonight’s Champions League games, making a huge steps toward the next stage of this competition.
Real was better than Ajax in Amsterdam, 2-1, while Spurs defeated Borussia Dortmund in London, 3-0.
Real Triumphs After A Suspicious Call
Ajax was very unfortunate to lose against the ruling champions of the UCL. The hosts played excellent football, and even though the final result wasn’t in their favor, we could say that they outplayed Real tonight.
Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio scored for the visiting team, while Hakim Ziyech netted for the Dutch club.
But many fans are saying that Real won because of Damir Skomina who disallowed Nicolas Tagliafico’s goal from the 41st minute. The official from Slovenia used the VAR technology and according to his judgment, Dusan Tadic, Ajax’s midfielder, was in offside at the moment when Tagliafico sent the ball towards the net. He also prevented Real Madrid’s goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois from reaching the ball, and that was enough for the referee to cancel the goal.
A step too VAR?
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) February 13, 2019
Still, the opinions are divided, whether was this a good call or not.
“The correct decision? I think so,” said Courtois. “When it happened I thought it could be offside. When the guy headed it I wanted to go and catch it. Because of his [Tadic’s] intention I made a quick movement. Luckily for VAR because nobody would have seen it.”
Meanwhile, one of the biggest talents in the world, Frankie de Jong had a different view on the matter, and stated that the referee did this only because it was against Real Madrid.
“It was too bad that our goal is rejected. Perhaps something like that is easy to do in favor of the big club, we have also had that,” mentioned de Jong.
Ajax was setting the tone of the game, and they were very inspired throughout the whole event. The first chance came when Tadic hit the post of Courtois’ goal. The Belgian goalkeeper saved his team on several occasions, preventing almost certain goals.
The same situation was seen in the second half, but one fast counter-attack changed everything. It started from Vinicius making a masterful run. He later passed the ball to Karim Benzema, who scored his 60th Champions League goal, bringing the lead to his team.
These two made an excellent bond lately, and Real’s solid performances in recent times, were mostly because of their cooperation.
“I like to play with Vinícius, he listens to you a lot and works hard. Hopefully, he continues as he is.” said the fourth overall scorer in the history of the UCL.
Hakim Ziyech equalized and sparked some hope for the hosts, but that was all snapped in the 86th minute when Marco Asensio beat Onana and set the final result of this leg.
Spurs Break Dortmund
Tottenham was experiencing a massive pressure of Dortmund’s player in the first half of the contest at Wembley. The Spurs were looking very pale, and the dominant team on the pitch was the one who came from Germany.
But in the moments when they just needed to close, Borussia’s attackers didn’t have enough composure.
As soon as the second half started, Son punished that very swiftly. The game resumed after that with a more calmer tempo and both teams were waiting for the mistake of their opponents. As time went by, Dortmund’s players were losing their nerves, which was especially obvious in the final part of the game.
In just three minutes span, from 83rd to 86th, Spurs tripled the lead, first through Verthonghen, and after that with the veteran, Fernando Llorente. It was a glorious ending of the game which was the main event in England today.
“It was very difficult from the beginning in possession and without the ball.” Mauricio Pochettino told the reporters at the press conference. “We struggled a little to play in the way we wanted to, but the second half was fantastic. After the goal, we started to play with more confidence.”
The Germans were looking stiff, and they didn’t have any answers on what hit them in those moments. Despite having one of the loudest stadiums in the world, it is hard to see them in the quarterfinals, and their prospects for such a thing are minimal.
The rematches are set for the 5th of March.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.