Barcelona bound Frenkie De Jong was given a grilling by Catalan media Sport for his performance against Real Madrid on Wednesday evening.
Madrid scored two vital away goals against Ajax in their last-16 Champions League tie at the Amsterdam Arena.
The Dutch side proved a tough ask for Santi Solari’s side with De Jong pulling the strings for the home side.
With the game fairly even for the first 45 minutes, Ajax did have themselves in front only for the Nicolas Tagliafico’s goal to be ruled out by VAR.
The home side would rue that decision on the hour mark as Karim Benzema hammered home a superb finish following good work from Vinicius Jr.
Not to be written off, the hosts bounced back though as Hakim Ziyech struck but they failed to hold on to the draw with Marco Asensio coming off the bench to strike late.
Following the game, Catalan media outlets reviewed De Jong’s performance with Sport grilling the youngster for ‘failing to impress’.
“It was an intense battle between the two of them – because De Jong had the job of stopping Modric too,” Sport’s German Bona wrote. “That was more surprising on the Modric front though, who operated as part of a double pivot from the start.
“The result was that they kept each other quiet. De Jong barely had the ball and when he escaped Modric he didn’t feel comfortable. He lacked precision and on more than one occasion didn’t find his desired team-mate with the ball.
“Only after Karim Benzema’s goal could be more liberated. He moved up the pitch a bit more, to the left interior position where Modric did not follow, and he had more of the ball. Madrid were disjointed and Ajax equalised, before Asensio’s late winner.
“It was not the best game from De Jong and he will not remember it fondly, especially as the referee didn’t give a foul from Lucas Vazquez on him and it led to Madrid’s winner.”
The young midfielder will link up with Barca this coming summer after agreeing terms in January over a deal.
Also on Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur were in action as they secured a superb home win over German side Borussia Dortmund.
Goals from Heung Min Son, Jan Vertonghen and Fernando Llorente secured the win for Maurico Pochettino’s side but the will face a tricky trip to Germany for the second leg against a free scoring Dortmund.