Real Madrid stuttered and stumbled their way to victory against Ajax on Wednesday night.
Despite all their struggles this season, Los Blancos will have been rubbing their hands together after a relatively easy Champions League draw but their trip to the Amsterdam Arena was far from simple.
It looked for all intents and purposes that Ajax had taken the lead, only for Nicolas Tagliafico's goal - virtue of a horrible Thibaut Courtois error - to be chalked off by VAR.
It was the first time in Champions League history that the system had been used to disallow a goal and the decision allowed Real to enter the second-half with a greater purpose.
Vinicius Junior once again waved his magic wand, producing a superb run from the left wing before setting up Karim Benzema to score the opener.
Ajax 1-2 Real Madrid
However, Ajax quickly responded with the goal they deserved, Hakim Ziyech sweeping past Courtois after 72 minutes.
But Marco Asensio eventually bagged the winning goal and ensure Real take an advantage into the return leg, arriving at the back post to break Dutch hearts.
It was a goal that sparked wild celebrations amongst travelling supporters and also seemed to inspire some unsavoury behaviour from captain Sergio Ramos.
Ramos uses the 'dark arts'
Just moments after Real fired themselves into the lead, Ramos hacked down Kasper Dolberg on the halfway line in one of the most unnecessary fouls you'll see this season.
But almost everybody is convinced that Ramos was using the so-called 'dark arts' of football and was deliberately getting himself booked; that way he could enter the quarter-finals with a clean record.
Journalists, fans and the BT commentators alike were almost certain that Ramos, confident in qualification to the last eight, had gotten his European suspension out the way.
It really is classic Ramos, so check out the video down below:
Where would we be without you, Sergio?
Obviously, Real Madrid are by no means guaranteed to make the next round, but victory and two away goals stands them in good stead ahead of the return leg.
And Los Blancos have plenty of defensive reinforcements to ensure that Ramos' absence won't hurt them too much. That's the plan, anyway.
In a season that has seen a jarring drop in quality from Real and a home defeat to CSKA Moscow, they will need to be on their toes without Ramos to lead them.
Nevertheless, assuming that Santiago Solari can negotiate the second leg without issue, Ramos should be vindicated for his decision in the Dutch capital.
It's not what football fans want to see nor what young players should copy but it's Ramos, what else would you expect?
Do you think Ramos was deliberately getting himself booked? Have your say in the comments section below.News Now - Sport News