Courtois: Real Madrid "Lucky" To Get VAR Call

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Given how tight the call is, it adds only further fuel to the fire for those who think that the current offside rules are incredibly hard to enforce and offer little in the way of an advantage to attacking players.

Rather than disallowing the goal for a foul on Courtois, who struggled to claim a header from Mattijs De Ligt under pressure, VAR ruled that the player in the Real Madrid goalkeeper's path was actually caught offside by a fraction. Then, after the first goal, we were not able to react. "I thought Gareth Bale would play at the Nou Camp and I was surprised to see him opt for Vinicius Junior instead".

"Because of his intention I made a quick movement and the ball bounced on my arm".

In the night's other round-of-16 match, Tottenham beat Dortmund 3-0, with all the goals coming in the second half at Wembley.

Madrid went ahead through Karim Benzema and, although Hakim Ziyech equalised, they secured a first-leg advantage through Marco Asensio's close-range finish in the 87th minute.

Moments later Ajax threatened and Noussair Mazraoui was played in by Dusan Tadic only to screw his shot across goal and wide. It's disappointing to give it away in the last few minutes.

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Ajax were by now well on top and another slick passing move put Ziyech through on goal but Courtois came out well to block. "Football is not always a handsome game and we have to know how to interpret matches".

Ten Hag said Real would be favourites with Ajax still short of experience at the highest level after finishing second in the group phase behind Bayern Munich.

"Why was it disallowed?"

"What I would find worrying is here is that the issue here wasn't the old, stupid trope that all the ex-pros pull out about: 'why isn't Kante playing in front of the back four?' The issue here was really bad individual defending and individual tactical defending", he told The Game podcast.

"We dominated, forced many chances, but scored too little". This was perhaps our best game of this season.