It was the day of the exams here in Turin and Ajax produced another coming-of-age appearance to advance to the semi-final after Cristiano Ronaldo had threatened to preach the pioneers of the match that had become his field.
When the Juventus star scored his 126th Champions League goal in the first half, it seemed unthinkable that he would not remain the only reigning champion in this season's renewal.
But Ajax – conquerors of Real Madrid in the final round – would never surrender to conventions and thanks to the goals of Donny van de Beek, 21, and captain Matthijs de Ligt, only 19, they will be the winners of Manchester and Spurs in the last four.
Dutch giants Ajax challenged the chances to expel Juventus from the Champions League in the quarterfinals on Tuesday
Ajax-wonderkid Matthijs de Ligt scored a nice top winner in Turn to send shock waves through the rest of Europe
Juventus had a good start when Cristiano Ronaldo (left) scored the opening goal of the game within the first half hour
But Ajax hit back quickly when midfielder Donny van de Beek was knocked out of goal to close the score 2-2 after meeting
Ronaldo and thousands of Juventus fans watched with astonishment after Ajax had scored their second goal to take control of the draw
Juventus XI: Szczesny; The Sciglio (Cancelo 64), Bonucci, Rugani, Sandro; Can, Pjanic, Matuidi; Bernardeschi (Bentancur 80), Dybala (Kean 46), Ronaldo
Subs: Barzagli, Khedira, Pinsoglio, Spinazzola
Target: Ronaldo 28
booked: Can, Ronaldo
Ajax XI: Onana; Veltman, De Ligt, Blind, Mazraoui (Sinkgraven 11, Magallan 82); Schone, De Jong; Ziyech (Huntelaar 88), Van de Beek, Neres; Tadic
Subs: De Wit, Dolberg, Varela, Ekkelenkamp
Target: Van de Beek 34, De Ligt 67
This competition barely needed an extra hype, but monochrome was rarely as colorful as in the minutes before the kick-off, 40,000 perfectly choreographed black-and-white flags whipped and swirled in the midst of a cauldron of noise.
So what followed during a scrappy and tense opening was something of a disappointment. Even Ronaldo was subdued.
In the meantime, Lionel Messi had scored twice in 20 minutes in Barcelona, and that news was well transmitted on the giant screens. Was the goal to provoke a reaction from his old opponent from La Liga? If so, it worked.
Ajax boss Erik ten Hag said on the eve of the match that he does not have to worry about the beating of Ronaldo by humans. You assumed that such & # 39; n nonchalant and nonchalant tactics did not extend to game letters. But apparently, at least judging by the way the unmarked Ronaldo happily walked up the corner from Miralem Pjanic to go home in 28 minutes.
It was so easy that something had to be wrong, a doubt that spread quickly among the officials. A VAR check was activated and, yes, there was an error. However, the sight of De Ligt stumbles in the back of and then drag teammate Joel Veltman only added to the comedy of their defense.
Noussair Mazraoui, pictured (right) fighting with Paulo Dybala, was only on the field for eleven minutes when he sustained an injury
Ajax & # 39; s Moroccan international defender Mazraoui sat on the field with his ankles after a challenge with Dybala
Mazraoui seemed to be in pain when he stumbled along the sidelines, flanked by two members of the Ajax medical team
Juventus took the lead in 28 minutes thanks to Ronaldo who put a strong head over the goalkeeper of Ajax Andre Onana
No 7 Ronaldo licked the adulation of the crowd as he jumped into the air to celebrate the opening goal of the game
Ronaldo celebrated the dug-outs after his goal was awarded after a VAR review at the Allianz Stadium in Turin
There was also an element of the surreal about the leveler of Ajax six minutes later. Van de Beek saw offside when Hakim Ziyech's bare shot turned into a cunning by-the-ball and ran into the midfielder's aisle. Van de Beek had a decent finish of eight meters and went to VAR again. Juventus winger Federico Bernardeschi, however, made his best impression of Ajax's backline for the opener and his lazy defense put the scorer aside.
It was well deserved. Not for what had been before, but for what followed. Juventus was rattling as this lively Ajax side – the youngest left in the league with an average age of 24 – set to be a winner in normal time.
They would have had one before if the clutches of Wojciech Szczesny had not fallen, Juventus' keeper who made a few flying saves to deny Ziyech and Van de Beek.
But Szczesny was helpless when De Ligt rose to meet the out of hand corner of Lasse Schöne in 67 minutes and send Ajax to the last four for the first time in 22 years.
This brilliant team will certainly fall apart in the summer, but their story, at least for the time being, is by no means over.
Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic tapped teammate Ronaldo on his left cheek during the post-opener celebrations
Ajax hit back the first half when Van de Beek did his utmost to let a well-chosen equalizer slide home from the Juventus box
Van de Beek seemed to be celebrating his goal before the ball hit the net when Federico Bernardeschi went in vain offside
Midfielder Van de Beek was chased by his Ajax teammates before he sat down on his knees to celebrate that he had scored the tying run
De Ligt put Ajax in the dream land when he emerged above two players to engage a header and give his team the lead they deserved
Ajax celebrated for their traveling fans as Juventus supporters leave shell shocked after seeing their side