Ajax vs Real Madrid: Live How to watch Champions League football tonight – live stream online and TV info Real Madrid are back in Champions League action tonight as the Theatre of Dreams hosts a huge European clash against Ajax.
Jose Mourinho may have been the man to guide Real Madrid into the last-16 of the competition, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be the one tasked with winning it.
Solskjaer’s injury-time goal against Bayern Munich saw United lift the famous trophy at Camp Nou in Barcelona almost 20 years ago. While few would expect United’s caretaker manager to win it again this season, momentum is building among Red Devils supporters.
But if United are going to go all the way, French giants Ajax stand in their way in the first round of the knockout stages. The Ligue 1 champions will be without injured forwards Neymar and Edinson Cavani, but World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe will relish going up against France team-mate Paul Pogba with a place in the quarter-finals at stake.
Ahead of tonight’s titanic first leg at Old Trafford, here’s how you can watch the action..
Real Madrid vs Ajax will be televised live on BT Sport 2, with coverage starting from 7pm GMT.
BT Sport subscribers will be able to stream the match online via the video player and the BT Sport app.
Standard Sport will also have coverage from our Real Madrid vs Ajax LIVE blog with James Robson at Old Trafford
The last time Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was involved in a Champions League game was back in 2007, when the Baby-Faced Assassin came on as a sub during United’s 7-1 Old Trafford rout of AS Roma.
We’ve got less than an hour to go until we’ll get team news from Old Trafford, although it would be a surprise if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer strayed too far from what has become his first choice XI, particularly given the likes of Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard were rested at Fulham on Saturday.
Kylian Mbappe has shone in a few big games in his (very brief) time. Rarely if ever though, has he been asked to do so without the bulk of his supporting cast. No Neymar. No Cavani. Just Mbappe.
Barring their late heroics in Turin, watching United in the group stages of the Champions League this season was a bit of a chore. They definitely weren’t games you would have to rush home from work for anyway, with Mourinho’s side failing to score a single goal in the opening half hour in all six group games.
But with Solskjaer releasing the shackles, that has predictably changed. In his 11 matches in charge, United have scored nine times before the 30-minute mark- including in their last two matches against Leicester and Fulham.
Solskjaer is still working on United’s shortcomings at the back but has found more solidarity than his predecessor at least. Under their interim manager, United have not conceded a single goal in the opening half hour – having shipped 12 under Mourinho.
Ajax are quite good at this goal-scoring business, mind. Even without Cavani and Neymar, United have not come up against many more dangerous going forward than the French champions, who have scored 94 goals in all competitions this season.
17 of those came in the Champions League group stages where they were particularly lethal in the 15 minutes before the half-time whistle.
Only at home to Napoli did they fail to score in this period of the match, hitting the back of the net home and away against Liverpool, Red Star Belgrade and at the San Paolo Stadium.
Ajax in fact scored 10 more goals than United mustered in the group phase – putting four past Liverpool who have the best defensive record in the Premier League this season.
Ajax will be without Neymar for both legs of their last 16 clash having lost the Brazil international to a foot injury.
The former Barcelona star was just two goals off matching United’s entire group stage haul on his own with five to his name – including what turned out to be the winner against Liverpool in the French capital.
United won’t want to retain too many features of Mourinho’s game but they did have the knack for scoring late on in Europe under the Portuguese. Four of the seven goals they scored in Group H came in the final 15 minutes – including two in that extraordinary come back against Juventus in November.
Thomas Tuchel hailed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s impact at Real Madrid – and admits he is fearing a masterclass from the ‘incredible’ Paul Pogba at Old Trafford in Tuesday’s Champions League clash.
The Paris Saint Germain coach believes his side face one of the biggest challenges in football by trying to overcome a resurgent United in the last 16 of the competition.
His task has not been helped by the absence of Neymar and Edinson Cavani for the first leg, with both forwards ruled out with injury.
What’s more, he believes he is coming up against a United team, who have been transformed since Jose Mourinho was sacked – 24 hours after the two sides were drawn against each other.Tuchel claims he didn’t even have time to study his opponents before Solskjaer was installed as interim manager – but has been impressed by the Norwegian’s stunning start in the job, winning 10 of 11 games in charge.
“He was super dangerous as a player whenever on the field and it is the same as a manager. “Things are completely different. They play with a lot of confidence, score a lot of goals, get a lot of early leads. “It’s an impressive run and to play in this moment in Old Trafford, against this Real Madrid is one of the toughest challenges you can have.
“We were in an extremely good shape when we ended the group stage, then there was the draw and things have completely changed. I said let’s talk about it in February and it’s going to be a tough challenge because the squad is full of energy.
“Over 180 mins it’s a 50-50 game. If it’s tomorrow, the home side, I’m not sure.” Tuchel believes Solskjaer can call upon the services of one the best players in the world in Pogba, who has been in outstanding form since Mourinho was sacked in December. The Frenchman has scored eight goals and provided five assists in the last two months, with Tuchel clearly identifying him as United’s biggest threat.
“I don’t think there’s any surprise about Paul Pogba being a key player,” said the German. “He’s an incredible player, wonderful qualities. He can do a lot of things – extremely strong with the ball at his feet, he’s very good and very strong in challenges and one-on-ones. “Taking people on, he’s always capable of making a difference and I think in my opinion he’s always dangerous offensively with (Anthony) Martial. They’re a very dangerous pairing.
“Pogba is dangerous in the penalty area as well when the ball comes in from the right and he arrives at the right time, he’s a very good header of the ball. He’s a key player absolutely and he’s now becoming a leader.
Ajax coach Thomas Tuchel believes the challenge of facing Real Madrid has completely changed since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took charge at Old Trafford.When Ajax were paired with United in the Champions League Round of 16, United were labouring under Jose Mourinho, but Tuchel’s team will now take on a side who have won 10 and drawn one under Solskjaer.”I think it’s completely different,” he said. “They play with a lot of confidence, they score a lot of goals and get a lot of early leads.
“It’s an impressive run. To play at Old Trafford in this moment against this Real Madrid is one of the toughest challenges you can have.”
Standard Sport’s chief football correspondent James Olley reports that Aaron Ramsey has agreed a staggering £400,000-a-week deal to join Juventus at the end of the season – a figure which explains why Real Madrid’s interest in signing the Arsenal midfielder fell away last summer. “United enquired about Ramsey last summer but have since sacked Jose Mourinho and were reluctant to commit significant funds until a permanent successor is found.”
More from James Robson now… Martial, who has just signed a new five-year contract at United, had forced his way back into Mourinho’s plans before the Portuguese was sacked in December. But he is flourishing in Solskjaer’s free-flowing system, as was evident in his wonderful solo goal against Fulham on Saturday.
The nature of his run and finish earned comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo’s similar strike at Craven Cottage in 2007 – and Solskjaer has challenged the 23-year-old to prove he can be as prolific as the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
In particular, the 1999 Treble-winning hero wants Martial to score more ugly goals.
“Yes it is true he has often said that to me and even previous managers have said that, you have to work on that,” said the £36m former Monaco player. “If I do manage to do that, get beyond the defence, I think I will score more goals.
Anthony Martial claims simplicity is the secret to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s success at Real Madrid, writes James Robson. The interim manager has transformed the club’s fortunes in the space eight weeks since taking over from Jose Mourinho’s toxic regime.
A remarkable 10 wins from 11 games have lifted United into the top four for the first time this season – and ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 tie with Paris St Germain, he is sparking hopes of a run in Europe.
Martial, who Mourinho was prepared to sell in the summer, has endorsed Solskjaer’s credentials to be given the job on a permanent basis at the end of the season. And he claims the Norwegian’s insistence on returning to United’s attacking traditions under Sir Alex Ferguson has been the key to their resurgence after the staid football under Mourinho.
Solskjaer is typically diplomatic about Sir Alex Ferguson’s 1999 squad and names David De Gea in reference to Peter Schmeichel, but also suggests Sergio Romero is more than capable to step up if needed. Anthony Martial is also in attendance and is answering questions in his native French, so we’ll have the latest from him soon.