Real Madrid are the undoubted kings of the Champions League and reigning champions of the tournament, and they returned to knock-out action with a visit to Dutch champions Ajax.

It was a shaky first half which saw Nicolas Tagliafico’s effort ruled out by VAR, with Karim Benzema opening the scoring to give Real Madrid the lead. Hakim Ziyech pulled one back but in the end it was Marco Asensio’s late goal which was the winner as he tapped in from close range to seal a 2-1 win.

Our tactical analysis will use statistics to identify what key points Real Madrid’s Santiago Solari can take from the game.

Benzema and Vinicius have formed a partnership

Benzema and Vinicius Junior have become two of the first names on the teamsheet in recent weeks, with only two games in 2019 not having featured the duo starting alongside each other. The relationship between them is flourishing and Solari’s side are beginning to reap the rewards, as their link-up play against Ajax looked the strongest yet. There was no clearer demonstration than with the movement between them for Real Madrid’s opening goal.

To read the full match analysis, click here.