Sunday, April 21, 2019

Real Madrid slayers Ajax can claim Juventus scalp, says Siem de Jong

SoccerNews in Eredivisie 15 Apr 2019

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Ajax’s stunning upset of Real Madrid is proof they can win at Juventus and reach the Champions League semi-finals, according to former skipper Siem de Jong.

Erik ten Hag’s team head to Turin with their quarter-final tie evenly poised following a 1-1 draw in Amsterdam last week.

The position is better than the one they held after 90 minutes of the previous round, when the Eredivisie leaders sensationally overturned a 2-1 deficit against European champions Madrid.

Hakim Ziyech, David Neres, Dusan Tadic and Lasse Schone all scored in a stunning 4-1 second-leg success in the Spanish capital, ending the holders’ hopes of claiming a fourth straight crown.

Six-cap Netherlands international De Jong, who captained Ajax to a Champions League win over Manchester City in 2012, believes the sparkling last-16 away showing can be replicated on Tuesday.

“I think they showed against Real Madrid they can do it in the away leg as well,” De Jong told Omnisport.

“They can win in Turin and hopefully they will.

“Of course, Juventus are a team that defends really well. It will be tough, but I think it’s doable. If they have a really good day, Juventus might have a lesser day.

“It will all have to fall into place, but it’s a really nice stage for them to perform at and hopefully they’ll get a result again.”

De Jong, 30, spent seven seasons at Ajax before moving to the Premier League with Newcastle United in 2014.

The attacking midfielder returned to his boyhood club three years later and is currently on loan at A-League outfit Sydney FC.

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