Ajax have reached the semifinals of the Champions League for the first time since 1997 with a 2-1 victory over Juventus at the Allianz Arena, sending them through 3-2 on aggregate.
The Dutch side trailed to Cristiano Ronaldo’s fifth knockout-round goal in Juve colours with half an hour played, but they hit back through Donny van de Beek and Matthijs de Ligt to deservedly progress through.
Erik tan Hag’s side have now seen off defending champions Real Madrid and many people’s favourites Juventus to make it to the semis, where they will face one of the all-Premier League tie between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.
Ajax, unbeaten in their last four away meetings with Italian opposition, looked a little nervy in the opening exchanges as Andre Onana’s attempted clearance struck Cristiano Ronaldo and flashed wide of the target.
Ronaldo was left in space to power home a header from Miralem Pjanic’s corner following some poor defending from the Dutch visitors.
Only six minutes were required for Ajax to respond, though, as Hakim Ziyech’s shot deflected into the path of Van de Beek, who kept his composure to convert past Wojciech Szczesny – just his second goal in the competition.
Ajax were enjoying a sustained spell of pressure and a third big chance came their way just after the hour when Dusan Tadic was picked out in the box.
Tadic, a key performer in Ajax’s shock win at the Bernabeu in the last round, turned down the chance to shoot and instead saw his back-post pass cut out by Pjanic.
Juve were unable to cope with Ajax and the visitors were eventually rewarded with a third goal of the tie thanks to Matthijs de Light’s powerful header, outjumping Alex Sandro to get on the end of a corner.
That was Ajax’s Ajax 155th goal this season in all competitions, a joint-club record, and it left Juventus needing two to progress.
David Neres miscued a close-range shot and Ziyech had a world-class goal ruled out for offside as Ajax tried to kill off the tie for good.