Juventus v Ajax background

Juventus and Ajax meet again in Turin with their quarter-final in the balance after they shared a 1-1 draw in Amsterdam.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring for Juventus at Ajax
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring for Juventus at Ajax ©AFP/Getty Images

Juventus and Ajax reconvene for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final with the tie finely poised after a 1-1 draw in Amsterdam.

• Cristiano Ronaldo made it eight goals in six matches against Ajax to put the visitors in front in the 45th minute at the Johan Cruijff ArenA on 10 April, but a David Neres goal 11 seconds into the second period ensured the teams would head to Turin all square.

• Both teams produced memorable second-leg comebacks in the round of 16. Ajax overturned a 2-1 home defeat by Real Madrid to oust the holders with a remarkable 4-1 success at the Santiago Bernabéu and reach their first quarter-final since 2002/03; Juve, meanwhile, were in trouble after a 2-0 first-leg loss at Atlético Madrid but recovered with a 3-0 victory back in Turin thanks to Ronaldo's hat-trick.

• While Juve are looking to reach a third semi-final in five seasons, Ajax have not made it to the last four since 1996/97, when their campaign was ended by Juve – the team who had also beaten them in the previous season's final.

Highlights: Ajax 1-1 Juventus
Highlights: Ajax 1-1 Juventus

Previous meetings
• Ajax have won only two of their 13 European fixtures against Juventus, and none since 1974. Juve are unbeaten in their last ten games against the Dutch club, winning five of the last seven.

• The teams have met in two European Cup finals; Ajax beat Juve 1-0 in Belgrade in 1973 thanks to Johnny Rep's early goal, but Juve turned the tables in Rome 23 years later. Fabrizio Ravanelli gave Juve an early lead but Jari Litmanen levelled before the break for Ajax, who were bidding to become the first team to retain the UEFA Champions League having beaten AC Milan in the final 12 months earlier; instead Juve were 4-2 winners on penalties.

• Juve have won all four of the teams' two-legged contests, most recently prevailing 2-1 in the Amsterdam first leg of their 2009/10 UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie and progressing after a goalless draw in Turin.

• The Bianconeri are unbeaten against Ajax in Turin (W3 D2), although they have scored only one goal in total in the last two fixtures, keeping clean sheets in both.

Pjanić: Juventus can and must beat Ajax
Pjanić: Juventus can and must beat Ajax

Form guide
Juventus
• This is Juve's 19th European Cup quarter-final; their record is W12 L6:
2017/18 Real Madrid L 3-4 (0-3 h, 3-1 a)
2016/17 Barcelona W 3-0 (3-0 h, 0-0 a)
2014/15 Monaco W 1-0 (1-0 h, 0-0 a)
2012/13 Bayern München L 0-4 (0-2 a, 0-2 h)
2005/06 Arsenal L 0-2 (0-2 a, 0-0 h)
2004/05 Liverpool L 1-2 (1-2 a, 0-0 h)
2002/03 Barcelona W 3-2 (1-1 h, 2-1 a aet)
1998/99 Olympiacos W 3-2 (2-1 h, 1-1 a)
1997/98 Dynamo Kyiv W 5-2 (1-1 h, 4-1 a)
1996/97 Rosenborg W 3-1 (1-1 a, 2-0 h)
1995/96 Real Madrid W 2-1 (0-1 a, 2-0 h)
1985/86 Barcelona L 1-2 (0-1 a, 1-1 h)
1984/85 Sparta Praha W 3-1 (3-0 h, 0-1 a)
1982/83 Aston Villa W 5-2 (2-1 a, 3-1 h)
1977/78 Ajax W 3-0 penalties (1-1 a, 1-1 h)
1972/73 Újpest W 2-2 away goals (0-0 h, 2-2 a)
1967/68 Eintracht Braunschweig W 1-0 replay (2-3 a, 1-0 h)
1961/62 Real Madrid L 1-3 replay (0-1 h, 1-0 a)

• Twelve months ago Juve's hopes looked to have been ended by a 3-0 home defeat against Real Madrid in the first leg, but a remarkable fightback in Spain levelled the tie on aggregate – only for Ronaldo's penalty, deep into added time, to finally end their challenge.

• Juve's record in two-legged ties against Dutch clubs is W4 L1.

• Juventus have won three of their four home games in this season's UEFA Champions League, beating Young Boys (3-0) and Valencia (1-0) at home in this season's group stage, either side of a 2-1 defeat by Manchester United on matchday four before the 3-0 defeat of Atlético in the last 16 second leg.

1996 Champions League final flashback: Ajax v Juventus
1996 Champions League final flashback: Ajax v Juventus

• Before losing to Madrid last season, Juve were unbeaten in 27 home matches in UEFA competition (W16 D11), dating back to a 2-0 reverse against Bayern München in April 2013. They have still lost only three of their 37 European matches at the Juventus Stadium (W22 D12).

• Juve are unbeaten in seven matches against Eredivisie clubs (W4 D3), since a 2-0 loss at Feyenoord in the 1997/98 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Winners in 1985 and 1996, Juventus have played in nine European Cup finals – losing a record seven, including all of their last five.

• Juve's penalty shoot-out win against Ajax in the 1977/78 European Cup quarter-finals is one of 14 UEFA competition ties in which they drew away in the first leg; the Italian club won 12 of those contests on aggregate. Ten of those first legs, including the last five, finished 1-1; Juve won eight of those ten contests overall, including the last, against Romania's Ceahlăul in the 1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup third round (0-0 home). More famously, Juve's last defeat after an away first-leg draw came at the hands of Manchester United in the 1998/99 UEFA Champions League semi-finals (1-1 away, 2-3 home).

Juventus's record in six UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W3 L3:
2-3 v AC Milan, 2002/03 UEFA Champions League final
4-2 v Ajax, 1995/96 UEFA Champions League final
1-3 v Real Madrid, 1986/87 European Champion Clubs' Cup second round
4-2 v Argentinos Juniors, 1985 European/South American Cup final
1-4 v Widzew Łódź, 1980/81 UEFA Cup second round
3-0 v Ajax, 1977/78 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-final

De Jong hopeful Ajax run not over yet
De Jong hopeful Ajax run not over yet

Ajax
• Ajax's record in 12 European Cup quarter-finals is W8 L4:
2002/03 AC Milan L 2-3 (0-0 h, 2-3 a)
1996/97 Atlético Madrid W 4-3 (1-1 h, 3-2 a aet)
1995/96 Borussia Dortmund W 3-0 (2-0 a, 1-0 h)
1994/95 Hajduk Split W 3-0 (0-0 a, 3-0 h)
1979/80 Strasbourg W 4-0 (0-0 a, 4-0 h)
1977/78 Juventus L 0-3 pens (1-1 h, 1-1 a)
1972/73 Bayern München W 5-2 (4-0 h, 1-2 a)
1971/72 Arsenal W 3-1 (2-1 h, 1-0 a)
1970/71 Celtic W 3-1 (3-0 h, 0-1 a)
1968/69 Benfica W 3-0 replay (1-3 h, 3-1 a)
1966/67 Dukla Praha L 2-3 (1-1 h, 1-2 a)
1957/58 Vasus L 2-6 (2-2 h, 0-4 a) 

• The 2003 defeat at AC Milan ended Ajax's five-match unbeaten away run in European Cup quarter-finals (W2 D3).

• The Dutch club were without a win in seven UEFA Champions League knockout phase fixtures (D2 L5), since a 3-2 victory at Atlético Madrid in the 1996/97 quarter-final second leg that completed a 4-3 aggregate success, before their win at Real Madrid in the last round.

• Ajax had lost their last three UEFA Champions League away games in the knockout phase – all to Italian opponents – before winning at Real Madrid; before that sequence started, they had won the previous three and were unbeaten in five (D2).

• The Amsterdammers have lost only one of their 15 European matches in 2018/19 (W8 D6) –  the first-leg defeat against Madrid. They won their first away game at Sturm Graz in the second qualifying round (3-1), drawing the next four – including at Bayern München and Benfica in Group E, both 1-1 – before a 2-0 success at AEK Athens on matchday five and the 4-1 victory at Real Madrid.

Highlights: Ajax's 1973 glory against Juventus
Highlights: Ajax's 1973 glory against Juventus

• Ajax are the sole side still involved who came through qualifying. The other 15 teams who reached the knockout rounds all entered the competition at the group stage.

• Before the first leg, the Dutch club had not played Italian opposition since drawing home (1-1) and away (0-0) against AC Milan in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stage – they have now extended their unbeaten run against Serie A sides to six matches (W1 D5) since that 2010 loss to Juventus.

• Ajax are unbeaten in their last four matches away to Serie A sides (W2 D2), keeping clean sheets in all of them.

• Ajax's record in two-legged ties against Italian clubs is W5 L7; they have lost three of the last four.

• Ajax have lost nine of the 12 UEFA competition ties in which they drew the home first leg, including four European Cup quarter-finals. When the first game in Amsterdam has finished 1-1, however, their aggregate record is W3 L4; they beat Atlético Madrid in that 1997 quarter-final, but lost the last such encounter, against Rostov in the 2016/17 play-offs (1-4 away).

• Ajax's record in six UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L5:
2-4 v Steaua Bucureşti, 2012/13 UEFA Europa League round of 32
2-4 Juventus, 1995/96 UEFA Champions League final
4-3 v Grêmio, 1995 European/South American Cup
2-4 v Bohemians Praha, 1984/85 UEFA Cup second round
0-3 v Juventus, 1977/78 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-final
3-5 v Levski Sofia, 1975/76 UEFA Cup third round

Juventus v Ajax: their previous Champions League meetings
Juventus v Ajax: their previous Champions League meetings

Links and trivia
• Current general director Edwin van der Sar was Ajax's goalkeeper in the 1996 UEFA Champions League final against Juventus, Daley Blind's father Danny captaining the side.

• Van der Sar played for Juventus between 1999 and 2001, and was a team-mate of Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United between 2005 and 2009.

• Daley Blind made his Netherlands debut in a 1-1 friendly draw against Italy on 6 February 2013 in the Johan Cruijff ArenA; Andrea Barzagli was in the visiting line-up.

• Ronaldo scored the only goal as Portugal defeated Hakim Ziyech's Morocco in the 2018 FIFA World Cup group stage.

• Has played in Italy:
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (AC Milan 2009–10)

• Huntelaar came on for the final five minutes of Milan's 3-0 win against Juventus in January 2010. He worked under current Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri for two months at Milan before departing for Schalke in August 2010.

• Ajax assistant coach Aron Winter played in Italy between 1992 and 1999, spending four seasons with Lazio and three with Internazionale. His record against Juve was W4 D3 L8.

• In 1992/93 Allegri – then a Pescara player – scored home and away against Winter's Lazio, who nevertheless won both games.

• Have played together:
Rodrigo Bentancur & Lisandro Magallán (Boca Juniors 2016/17)

• International team-mates:
Paulo Dybala & Nicolás Tagliafico (Argentina)
João Cancelo & Bruno Varela (Portugal Under-21)

Remember superb Nedvěd goal for Juventus against Ajax?
Remember superb Nedvěd goal for Juventus against Ajax?

Latest news

Juventus
• Wojciech Szczęsny's next appearance in UEFA club competition will be his 50th.

• Juventus suffered a second Serie A defeat of the season – both in the last five matches – at the weekend, losing 2-1 at SPAL having led in a game from which they had only needed a point to claim a record eighth successive Italian league title.

• Paolo Gozzi and Grigoris Kastanos made their Juve debuts at SPAL.

• Having gone down 2-0 at Genoa on 17 March, Juventus had won three league matches in a row before the weekend defeat. The Bianconeri nevertheless have 27 victories in 32 league fixtures in 2018/19. With 84 points and six games to play, Juve are on track to equal their own record (102 points in 2013/14).

• Moise Kean, who has scored in Juve's last four Serie A matches including at SPAL on Saturday, has eight goals in his last nine games for club and country.

• The loss at Genoa was Juve's first league reverse since the 1-0 home defeat against Napoli on 22 April 2018. It was Juve's first away league defeat since a 3-2 defeat at Sampdoria on 19 November 2017.

• The loss at Genoa was also the first time that Juve failed to score in Serie A since a goalless draw against Roma on 13 May 2018.

• Juve have won their last five home matches in all competitions and are unbeaten at the Juventus Stadium since the matchday four defeat by Manchester United; their record since is W12 D1.

• On 23 March, Kean became the first player born after 2000 to score for Italy, finding the net against Finland (2-0) aged 19 years 23 days to become the Azzurri's second youngest goalscorer after Bruno Nicolè in 1958 (18 years 258 days). Kean scored again three days later as Italy defeated Liechtenstein 6-0.

• Cristiano Ronaldo went off 30 minutes into Portugal's 1-1 UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying draw with Serbia on 25 March with a right thigh injury, making a goalscoring return in the first leg with Ajax.

Classic #UCL quarter-final memories
Classic #UCL quarter-final memories

• Douglas Costa was out with a thigh injury between 2 February and the first leg against Ajax, when he came on for the final half-hour.

• Giorgio Chiellini missed the first leg after suffering a calf injury two days ahead of the game, while Blaise Matuidi was forced off in Amsterdam after 75 minutes with a similar problem; neither featured at SPAL.

• Martín Cáceres has not played since going off after 61 minutes against Cagliari on 2 April with a thigh injury.

• Andrea Barzagli had been out since the 4-1 win over Udinese on 8 March when he suffered a calf injury, before returning at SPAL. On Saturday, the 37-year-old announced he will retire at the end of the season.

• Emre Can has not played since spraining an ankle against Milan on 6 April.

• Juan Cuadrado was removed from Juve's UEFA Champions League squad after undergoing surgery on his left knee on 28 December. He played 90 minutes at SPAL on Saturday, his first appearance since 12 December.

• Daniele Rugani (2023) and Mario Mandžukić (2021) have agreed contract extensions.

• On 16 January Juventus won the Italian Super Cup, beating AC Milan 1-0 thanks to a Ronaldo goal.

• Juve's hopes of a fifth consecutive double were ended when they lost 3-0 to Atalanta in the quarter-finals on 30 January.

Great Champions League quarter-final goals
Great Champions League quarter-final goals

Ajax
• Ajax have won ten of their last 12 games in all competitions, the exceptions the first leg against Juventus and a 1-0 Eredivisie loss at AZ Alkmaar on 17 March. On Saturday they were 6-2 winners at home to Excelsior.

• Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored a hat-trick at the weekend, his first treble since scoring three for Schalke in a 4-1 Bundesliga defeat of Mainz on 29 November 2014.

• Dušan Tadić, who got two goals on Saturday, has 15 goals in his last 16 Eredivisie matches and 19 in his last 23 in all competitions.

• Ajax have won five of their last six away games in all competitions, losing the other; they scored 21 goals in that sequence, conceding six.

• Donny van de Beek has scored in four of Ajax's last six away matches.

• David Neres has scored seven goals in his last nine Ajax matches.

• Noussair Mazraoui and André Onana have both extended their Ajax contracts until 2022.

• Matthijs de Ligt headed his first goal for the Netherlands in a 2-3 home loss against Germany in UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying on 24 March, a match that was played at Ajax's Johan Cruijff ArenA.

• Neres made his Brazil debut in a 3-1 friendly win away to the Czech Republic on 26 March, setting up the second goal.

• On 27 February Ajax reached the Dutch Cup final with a 3-0 win at Feyenoord. They will play Willem II in the final, also in Rotterdam, on 5 May.

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