Two goals by veteran midfielder Walid Soliman and a strike by Amr Al-Sulaya saw the Egyptians beat the Tunisians at the Borg El-Arab Stadium.
All the talk centered around the hosts receiving two penalties and the role of VAR in its first CAFCL game.
Here's how the fans and media reacted on Twitter from the weekend to Monday, as we look forward to the second leg on Friday.
Match officials including VARs for CAF CL final btn Al Ahly and Esperance tonight. At the center will be Algerian, Mehdi Abid Charef with experience Papa Bakary Gassama of The Gambia heading the maiden edition of the VAR in the final.#CAFCL2018Final#AhlyEsperance #EnergySports pic.twitter.com/te3dv0JxY6— Samuel Apam Sammer (@apamone) November 2, 2018
I can understand a referee making mistakes in real time…— Joe Crann (@YesWeCrann) November 2, 2018
But to get those two Al Ahly penalty calls wrong despite having the luxury of VAR replays, that’s pretty unforgivable. Esperance will be livid. #CAFCL
The kind of acting that you have in African football especially at the #CAFCLFinal is on another level.— Njie Enow (@NjieEnow) November 2, 2018
So an Al Ahly player deliberately tore his jersey after contact with an Esperance player for the third penalty!
To think there was VAR @NuhuAdams_ @LotfiWada @lasteven04 pic.twitter.com/R3gwxZb8Va
About last night: Magical! Ok, more work and stressful than that.— Lux September (@Lux_September) November 3, 2018
CAF Champions League final in Egypt.. Al Ahly 🇪🇬 vs Esperance 🇹🇳
The Fans... The the atmosphere. Bucket list stuff. pic.twitter.com/C0S63VRhCJ
VAR 3-1 Esperance— DiskiAfrika (@DiskiAfrika) November 2, 2018
TFF: "The federation is calling Caf for immediate decisions to be taken against the Algerian referee after his bad performance during the game. We ask Caf to suspend Ahly's Azarou from taking part in the second leg after assaulting an Esperance player."https://t.co/PyrmNiXhq5— Michael Madyira (@MG_Madyira) November 5, 2018
Terrifying atmosphere in Alexandria.— Nuhu Adams (@NuhuAdams_) November 2, 2018
Borg El Arab Stadium is heated up for the 1st leg of the CAF Champions League finals.
Al Ahly SC 🇪🇬 vs. 🇹🇳 Esperance de Tunis
Kick-off is at 19:00 GMT#TotalCAFCLFinal #ASCEST pic.twitter.com/GT3fcQY1u9
It is a sea of red raising the roof in the Caf Champions League final, first leg. What an atmosphere!— BBK (@BBKUnplugged99) November 2, 2018
VAR IN AFRICAN FOOTBALL?— Puncherello Chama (@ChamaPunch) November 2, 2018
Al Ahly 1-0 Esperance. 47 min
Ahly lead via the Penalty spot