Cristiano Ronaldo was again hailed by Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri after scoring with his side's only shot on target to earn a 1-1 draw away to an excellent Ajax in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal in Amsterdam on Wednesday.
On his return from a thigh injury, Ronaldo subdued the 50,000 home fans in the Johan Cruyff Arena when he headed Juventus in front on the stroke of half-time to take his record goal tally in the competition to 125.
However, Brazilian winger David Neres conjured a stunning equaliser almost immediately after half-time to give Ajax a draw that was the very least they deserved.
"Ronaldo showed that he is on a different level. His timing and movement are different to everyone else's, there's nothing you can do about it," said Allegri.
The Ajax coach, Erik ten Hag, added: "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."
Meanwhile, Manchester United's powers of recovery carried them to a first Champions League quarterfinal in five years but even Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits beating Barcelona in the Camp Nou is maybe one mountain too many to climb.
Unlike their experience in losing the first leg of their last-16 tie on home soil 2-0 to Paris Saint-Germain, United were not outclassed by the Catalan giants in a 1-0 defeat.
However, on a night when Lionel Messi was left bloodied by a charging Chris Smalling and had little impact after playing his part in creating Luke Shaw's 12th-minute own goal, Barca were still comfortable winners.
"Messi received a black eye and a bloodied nose but Manchester United did not lay a glove on Barcelona," was the verdict of the Daily Telegraph.