Ajax are out of the Champions League after a 2-2 draw against OGC Nice on Wednesday saw the French side progress on away goals. It finished 3-3 on aggregate.

The first official home game of the season was dedicated to Abdelhak Nouri and his family watched from the stands as Ajax revealed a tribute video on the big screen before a tifo was unveiled just before kick off.

When the game did get underway, Ajax were overrun by a Nice side looking more dynamic and quick without Mario Balotelli through the middle. After only three minutes, the French side opened the scoring with Arnaud Souquet tapping in on the rebound after Andre Onana pushed away Lees-Melou’s shot.

It could have been worse as Nice dominated the opening ten minutes but eventually, Ajax woke up through Justin Kluivert, who led the charge towards goal. One of the winger’s mazy runs eventually resulted in the equaliser with Hakim Ziyech finding Donny van de Beek in the box and he spun his marker before sliding the ball into the bottom corner on 26 minutes.

Kasper Dolberg nearly made it 2-1 shortly afterwards before the game was stopped in the 34th minute as the whole stadium applauded in tribute to Nouri. Moments after the match restarted, Amin Younes set up Nick Viergever but he could only smash over the bar. The defender also got a chance after the break when he was set in on goal by Kluivert. Nice goalkeeper Yoan Cardinale raced out his goal but his attempted clearance only flew off Viergever and just wide.

Ajax dominated the early stages in the second half and after several near misses, they eventually took the lead on 56 minutes. Hakim Ziyech found Viergever at the back post with an excellent cross and the left back’s header across goal was slid in by Sanchez.

Dolberg and Ziyech went close as Ajax looked for a killer third, but with ten minutes left they were hit with a sucker punch. Joel Veltman lot an aerial battle on the right which eventually led to Seri getting behind the defence to pull back for substitute Vincent Marcel who tapped into the net.

Ajax threw on Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and David Neres in search of a winning goal but it didn’t come and Nice held on to claim their place in the next round. Ajax now drop down into the Europa League.




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