Juventus has been sent back to the drawing board after its Champions League ambitions were shattered by an Ajax Amsterdam side whose transfer spending this season has been roughly one fifth of its own.
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde praised Lionel Messi for settling his side down after a nervy start against Manchester United and inspiring the Catalans to a 3-0 victory to reach the Champions League quarterfinals.
Usually if Real Madrid suffered back-to-back Clásico defeats to a table-topping Barcelona side at the Santiago Bernabeu, and then a Champions League elimination at home to – and this is meant only in terms of finance and expectation – relative minnows, you would fear for the manager’s future.
Unbeaten in the league with only six points dropped and 13 points clear at the top, Juventus has been utterly dominant in the Serie A this season and seems all but certain to win an eighth successive title.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first two months as caretaker manager have rekindled memories of Manchester United's glorious past but the defeat against Paris Saint-Germain shows the tough path back to the top of European football.
The Champions League last-16 first-leg match between Real Madrid and Ajax Amsterdam on Wednesday is an intriguing clash of two European heavyweights which have made young players central to their strategies, but for very different reasons.
Manchester United's return to Champions League action against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday has come at the perfect time, according to caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after a run of 10 wins and one draw since the Norwegian took charge.