- Real Madrid win 2-1 at Ajax Amsterdam in the first knockout round of the Champions League.
- Benzema and Asensio meet for Real, Ziyech for Ajax.
Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio have brought the long-struggling defending champion Real Madrid to quarter-finals. The Royal returned with a fortunate 2-1 (0-0) against the strong young Ajax Amsterdam. The team around 2014 World Champion Toni Kroos can celebrate the ninth quarter-final entry into the series on 5 March (21 clock) in the domestic Estadio Santiago Bernabeu with a win.
Benzema (60.) completed a counterattack of the visitors to the lead for Real, Hakim Ziyech (75.) managed for the first half in the first half strong Elf of coach Erik ten Hag of the interim compensation. Asensio (87th) countered in the closing stages. In the group stage Ajax had annoyed the German record champions Bayern Munich (1: 1, 3: 3) in the direct duels and qualified as second behind the Munich for the first time since the 2005/06 season for the second round.
The young Ajax-Elf began in the Johan Cruyff arena powerfully and occupied Real initially exclusively with defensive tasks. In front of the goal, however, the hosts, who were highly superior in the first half, often played too complicated or were too inaccurate in the final round.
After a missed pass from captain Sergio Ramos, for whom it was the 600th compulsory game for Real, Noussair Mazraoui (9 ') fired from a promising position just outside the left corner, Dusan Tadic (26) failed in falling from around 13 meters at the post , Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saved strongly against free-standing Hakim Ziyech (36 ') before he was unsure of a corner shortly afterwards and was lucky that Nicolas Tagliafico's (37') goal from referee Damir Skomina (Slovenia) was due to video evidence an offside position was withdrawn.
Benzema (51.) failed with the first good scene of the guests in the second round to Ajax keeper Andre Onana. A little later Amsterdam awarded David Neres (52.) the next high-profile opportunity. A little later, Benzema (60.) met for the Royal. Ziyech finally completed one of the numerous chances for Ajax – but it was not enough to draw, because Asensio slammed late.