Donny van de Beek scored the only goal as Ajax defeated Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

Ajax’s young guns have been the talk of Europe since knocking out both Real Madrid and Juventus in the previous rounds. They headed to face an injury and suspension-hit Tottenham side looking to put themselves one step closer to the final.

Ajax’s confidence showed from the start and they dominated the early possession without really troubling a 5-man Tottenham defence. However, in the 15th minute, Hakim Ziyech played a perfect through ball for Donny van de Beek to calmly fire Ajax in front.

Danny Rose then nearly scored an own goal as Ajax had the hosts rattled. Van de Beek was also denied a second by Hugo Lloris but the midfielder should have squared the ball to a waiting David Neres.

The hosts finally got a chance in the 26th minute but Fernando Llorente sent his header wide of the goal. Moments later, Jan Vertonghen had to go off with a head injury and was replaced by Moussa Sissoko.

With an extra midfielder, Tottenham looked better and they finished the half strongly. Toby Alderweireld put a header onto the roof of the net before Sissoko fired a shot wide.

Tottenham started the second half brightly with Dele Alli sending two good chances wide. At the other end, Ajax remained dangerous on the counter-attack but Dusan Tadic saw an effort blocked.

Tottenham controlled possession but 13 minutes before the end, Ajax almost made it 2-0. A fine counter-attack ended with Ziyech setting up Neres but the Brazilian’s low strike came back off the inside of the post before being cleared.

The miss didn’t matter in the end as Ajax held on to seal a massive away victory.

Next Wednesday the second leg takes place in Amsterdam where Ajax will look to book their place in the final.




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