Barcelona proved just too strong for Ajax as they ran out 3-1 winners in the Nou Camp to leave the Dutch side’s chances of qualifying for the next round of the Champions League hanging by a thread.

111mesi djdnbAfter two draws to start the competition Ajax boss Frank de Boer challenged his side to show what they are capable off, and give Barcelona a tough game. However after only seven minutes Barcelona breached the Ajax defence as Lionel Messi found Neymar on the right hand side of the box, and the Brazilian forward curled into the bottom corner to make it 1-0.

De Boer also wanted Ajax to maintain their usual passing style, but on 24 minutes a sloppy ball from the back was intercepted by Barcelona, and after a fine move, Lionel Messi squeezed a shot past Cillessen. Two down in the Nou camp in the first half hour, Ajax looked all over the place at the back and Pedro nearly made it 3-0 after another swift move but his shot then hit the post, while Andres Iniesta was allowed to slalom through Joel Veltman and Niklas Moisander, but the midfielder could not beat Cillessen.

Barcelona played at a slower tempo in the second half, and coach Luis Enrique even decided to bring off trio Lionel Messi, Neymar and Iniesta as it seemed the game was wrapped up.

However Ajax began to push forward in the last 10 minutes, and substitute Anwar El Ghazi set up an exciting last few minutes with the winger turning the ball past Ter Stegen after Arkadiusz Milik saw his initial shot blocked.

Any chance of a comeback for Ajax was quashed in injury time as with a number of players pushed forward Barcelona countered swiftly and Sandro fired into the bottom corner past Cillessen.

PSG beat APOEL Nicosia 1-0 in the groups other game, meaning Ajax now sit four points behind Barcelona in second place, which means nothing but a win will do when the two sides meet again in the Amsterdam Arena in two weeks.

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