Ajax are out of the Champions League after a 0-0 draw with 10-man AC Milan at the San Siro on Wednesday.

  • By Michael Bell
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aja v acThe Amsterdam side needed a win if they were to qualify for the knockout stages for the first time since 2006, and Frank de Boer’s side started the game on top.

Christian Poulsen came close to giving Ajax an early lead, but his header came back of the post.

On 22 minutes AC Milan were reduced to ten men with Riccardo Montolivo being shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Poulsen. It was a horrible challenge that could have snapped Poulsen’s ankle and the midfielder could have no complaints.

Playing against ten men Ajax dominated but could not find a way through a stubborn AC Milan defence, and struggled to test their goalkeeper Abbiati.

In the second half the home side’s defence had to cope with wave after wave of Ajax attacks, but the Dutch side could only create half chances.

Viktor Fischer shot inches wide of Abbiati’s post, while the keeper also stopped two efforts from the clearly confident Davy Klaassen.

AC Milan showed nothing of an attacking force, and didn’t manage a serious effort on goal in the second half, with Mario Balotelli constantly conning referee Howard Webb into giving his side cheap free-kicks.

Near the end De Boer threw on tall defender Mike van der Hoorn up front, but it was to no avail as Ajax failed to find the right delivery to use his height. In the final minute, Klaassen nearly found a winner, but his overhead kick flew just wide.

A disappointing end to what has been an overall positive Champions League campaign, and De Boer will no doubt be frustrated that his side could not find a winner with so much possession.

Ajax will now drop into the Europa League after the winter break, and will believe after beating Barcelona, and outperforming AC Milan in two games, that they have a chance to win it.

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