Champions League: Against Tottenham, Ajax Puts One Foot in the Final

Football
The players of Ajax Amsterdam after their victory in the first leg of the Champions League against Tottenham in London on April 30, 2019.

Tuesday 30th April, 2019, the young and fiery team of Amsterdam took an option in London in the semifinals of the Champions League

Freshness: the young and fiery Ajax Amsterdam put a foot in the final of the Champions League by defeating a tired and decimated Tottenham (1-0), Tuesday 30th April, 2019 in London, in the semi-final first leg.

After dropping Real Madrid and Juventus in the previous rounds, Ajax can dream of hooking a new rich to his hunt.

Golden generation

The goal outside Donny van de Beek, from the 15th minute, allows young players from Ajax to see the final. In any case, he places the golden generation of Amsterdam on the path of his glorious elders in 1995. Louis van Gaal led the kids Van der Sar, De Boer, Davids, Seedorf, Overmars and Litmanen to the European coronation.

Will Erik ten Hag lead De Jong and company to the same feat? While waiting to see the final of Madrid, Ajax will drive the nail next Wednesday against a Tottenham at the end of the race and deprived of his star Harry Kane.

The North London club has yet offered a modern White Hart Lane for this kind of gala meeting. Their new box had perhaps allowed them to eliminate Manchester City in the previous round, it probably cost them the game Tuesday night.

Thus, to face Ajax, the Spurs coach, Mauricio Pochettino, had to do without Kane but also Aurier, Winks and Lamela, and Son, suspended.

The Argentinian manager has been forced to align Lucas Moura and Llorente in attack, not the most reassuring when it is time to enter the first semi-final of the Champions League in its history.

nuggets

Conversely, everything was good for Ajax. Ten Hag was able to align his nuggets Neres, Van de Beek, De Jong and De Ligt. What to address more calmly the shock. Especially since the Dutch federation had granted the Amsterdamers a weekend of rest.

At the same time, Tottenham, already cooked, had to face West Ham (1-0 defeat). And it’s been seen!

Ajax dominated the first period of the head and shoulders (60% of possession), logically opening the mark even before the end of the first quarter of an hour.

On the reserve

This stage, the “Spurs” have paid a high price. The one billion dedicated to the superb new enclosure of more than 62 000 places could not be invested in the workforce. Tottenham has not strengthened either this summer or this winter, leaving his group to approach the spring already faded after a long World Cup year for the many international Belgian and English semi-finalists in Russia.

Ajax Amsterdam player Donny van de Beek scorer in Tottenham win 1-0 in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg on April 30th
Ajax Amsterdam player Donny van de Beek scorer in Tottenham win 1-0 in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg on April 30, 2019. (© AFP / EMMANUEL DUNAND)

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Ziyech found Van de Beek on the verge of offside. Alone in the area, the blonde has taken all his time to feign a first time, then a second time Hugo Lloris before aligning the champion of the world with cold blood.

The Spurs reacted on a free kick, but the heads of Llorente (26) and Alderweireld (45 + 3) did not hang the frame.

Worse for the Londoners, Vertonghen had to come out after a shock with Onana (39). The Belgian, sounded and touched on the nose, gave way to Sissoko.

Much more enterprising after the break, the Spurs pushed, with Alli, Eriksen and Lucas Moura dangerous from the return of the locker room. The Brazilian fired on the right flank, Sissoko fought like a lion in the middle, but it was not enough.

Faced with the youth of Ajax, the tired bodies and more lucid heads of the Spurs have not found a solution, even close to the disaster at the end of the game, when a cross shot by Neres crashed on the amount (78).

A providential post: at least the Spurs still have a chance …

Champions League: Against Tottenham, Ajax Puts One Foot in the Final 1
Champions League 2018-2019. (© AFP / Vincent LEFAI)
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