MATCHDAY: Man U-Atleti, Ajax-Benfica tied in Champs League

A look at what’s happening in the Champions League on Tuesday:


United’s bid to reach the quarterfinals for just the second time since 2014 has been boosted by Bruno Fernandes’ return to the squad after testing negative for the coronavirus. The playmaker missed United’s win over Tottenham in the English Premier League on Saturday but was back in training on Monday along with Scott McTominay, who is available after a calf problem, and Luke Shaw, who remains the main concern for manager Ralf Rangnick having only recently returned from a bout of COVID-19. Rangnick said he was sure Cristiano Ronaldo would be able to handle the swift turnaround from the Tottenham game, where the 37-year-old striker scored a hat trick. Ronaldo, who was recently out with a hip flexor issue, has proven to be the scourge of Atleti down the years. He didn’t score in the first leg, though, with Anthony Elanga canceling out Joao Felix’s opening goal for the Spanish team, which has won its last four La Liga matches. Injuries are mounting up, though, with Daniel Wass, Sime Vrsaljko, Mario Hermoso, Matheus Cunha, Thomas Lemar, Jose Gimenez and Geoffrey Kondogbia all likely absentees, while Yannick Carrasco is suspended.

AJAX vs. BENFICA (2-2)

Led by top-scorer Sébastien Haller, Ajax hosts Benfica trying to keep alive a surprising Champions League campaign that started with six wins from six matches in the group stage, a feat matched only by powerhouses Liverpool and Bayern Munich. Ajax is in the last 16 for the second time since 2006, though it reached the semifinals the last time it got this far three seasons ago. Ajax coach Erik ten Hag said defender Jurrien Timber and midfielder Edson Álvarez will be available for the second leg in Amsterdam after recovering from injuries. Two-time European champion Benfica is looking to reach the quarterfinals for the fifth time. It will likely have the return of Roman Yaremchuk, Nicolás Otamendi and Gilberto, who had been nursing injuries and didn’t play in the 1-1 draw against Vizela in the Portuguese league on Friday. Ajax has already equaled its most prolific Champions League campaign with 22 goals.


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