Real Madrid needed a late winner from Marco Asensio and VAR’s debut in the Champions League to beat an impressive Ajax 2-1 in the first leg of the last 16 on Wednesday.
Ajax have not beaten Madrid in 24 years and thought they were on their way at the Johan Cruyff Arena when Nicolas Tagliafico headed home after a Thibaut Courtois error.
But referee Damir Skomina judged Dusan Tadic to be offside upon review and Madrid showed no pity on their youthful opponents, Karim Benzema netting the opener after good work from the prodigious Vinicius Junior.
Hakim Ziyech’s equaliser at least keeps Ajax in touch heading into the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu but Asensio’s 87th-minute winner was a sucker-punch in a match the Dutch team had largely dominated.
In London, Defender Jan Vertonghen scored once and set up another goal for Son Heung-min as Tottenham Hotspur beat Borussia Dortmund 3-0 at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday to all but punch a ticket for the last eight of the competition.
The Belgian notched his first goal in the Champions League with a well-timed volley in the 83rd minute after he had set up forward Son for another sumptuous volley to put his side ahead in the 47th minute.
Substitute Fernando Llorente grabbed their third in the 86th, powering in a header from Cristian Eriksen’s corner-kick.
The Bundesliga leaders, who dominated the first 45 minutes, were nowhere to be seen in the second half, with speedy teenager Jadon Sancho given no space to operate after the break as Spurs went through the gears.