Ronaldo scores 125th Champions League goal but Juventus held by Ajax

REUTERS  LEE SMITH

Ronaldo put Juventus in front on the stroke of half-time with a diving header to take his record goal tally in the competition to 125, only for Brazilian winger David Neres to level nearly immediately after half-time to put the tie on a knife edge ahead of next week's return leg in Turin.

"Ronaldo showed that he is on a different level".

"Ronaldo's greatest quality, apart from his talent, is that he is a predator in the box".

"We suffered after their goal because we were a bit shocked to concede immediately after the break but we defended well and finished the game better".

Ronaldo was returning from a two-week injury layoff.

The 21-year-old moved about the pitch with an elegance and everything the Dutch side did had him at the centre.

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"It is not the result you hope for, but it is a result". Last time we lost 2-1 to Madrid at home, so we are still in it. He still makes his goals, but it will be hard for Juventus to get into the last four, although they are always tactically excellently set up.

However, with one eye on Tuesday's Champions League quarterfinal second leg with Ajax, Allegri said he will rest some of his players - including the club's record signing.

"Bernardo couldn't play", the Man City coach said.

Ronaldo - fit to feature after recovering from a thigh injury suffered on worldwide duty with Portugal last month - put the visitors ahead on the stroke of half-time, striding into the penalty area before throwing himself at a cross to thunder a header beyond goalkeeper Andre Onana.

A second half goal from David Neres earned Ajax a more than deserved 1-1 draw against the Old Lady, meaning Netherlands have now confirmed 11th spot in the coefficient list.

Bernardeschi again came close nine minutes before the interval, swivelling and firing wide from Ronaldo's knock down, before the Champions League's all-time top goalscorer plundered his 125th in the competition, converting Joao Cancelo's lofted ball into the area with a thumping finish. Neres robbed Cancelo by the left touchline just inside the Juventus half and advanced before curling a shot beyond Szczesny and into the far corner.

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