Ajax have edged closer to the Champions League knockout stages with a 2-0 win over Lille in France.

With Valencia drawing 2-2 with Chelsea, Ajax knew that a win would move them two points clear at the top of the group with one clash remaining.

Erik ten Hag was without Joel Veltman and Daley Blind, meaning Lisandro Martinez started alongside Perr Schuurs in defence, while Noussair Mazraoui moved into midfield.

Ajax got off to the perfect start after two minutes when a sweeping team move ended with Dusan Tadic setting up Hakim Ziyech to sweep the ball into the bottom corner.

Tadic almost made it 2-0 shortly afterwards but when through on goal he was denied by goalkeeper Mike Maignan.

As the second half wore on, Lille came into the game more and they missed a massive chance to equalise. A swift counter led to Jonathan Bamba getting a chance right in front of goal but he skied his effort.

Ajax were also fortunate to end the first half with eleven men as Mazraoui was let off with a challenge while already on a yellow card. At the break he was swapped by Edson Alvarez, while Zakaria Labyad had already been replaced by Noa Lang through injury.

Before the hour mark, Ajax doubled their lead as Ziyech set up Promes to finish past Maignan.

Yusuf Yazici then went close for Lille with a strike that flew just wide, before Bamba and Yazici were both denied by the excellent Andre Onana.

Ziyech then had the ball in the net again but this time it was ruled out by VAR for handball.

Ajax saw out the rest of the match to seal a big three points which moves them two points clear at the top. In two weeks, Ajax host Valencia in Amsterdam.




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