Ajax are all but out of the Champions League after a 2-1 defeat to Celtic at Parkhead leaves them bottom of Group H.

  • By Michael Bell
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forrestIt was a frustrating performance by the Eredivisie champions, where they dominated possession, but missed chance after chance, while being punished by stupid errors.

The first real chance fell to the visitors on 29 minutes, when a Viktor Fischer free-kick fell to the feet of Christian Poulsen, but the midfielder’s first time effort cannoned back of the post.

Ajax continued to pass the ball around comfortably, but failed to create any real chances, and were punished on 45 minutes. Defender Stefano Denswil rashly tackled Anthony Stokes in the box to give Celtic a penalty.

The penalty was brilliantly dispatched by winger James Forrest to send the Parkhead crowd wild, and Celtic into a half time lead.

Crowd trouble marred the break, as Ajax fans tackled stewards, and ripped up seats, which were thrown towards Celtic fans. A shameful action by the travelling support, which marks the Dutch game.

The second half continued like the first with Ajax dominating the ball, and they should have been level on 50 minutes, when Thulani Serero raced through on goal, but the midfielder could not finish past Fraser Forster.

A minute later, Celtic punished the missed chance, when a first time Beram Kayal shot deflected off Denswil and beat Jasper Cillessen for 2-0.

Ajax then missed chance after chance to get back into the game, as their finishing let them down. First Kolbeinn Sigthorsson somehow put the ball wide when yards out, Siem de Jong fired inches wide, and Serero fired over from close range.

Celtic were reduced to ten men  late on with substitute Nir Biton shown a straight red for a studs up challenge on Serero.

In the third minute of injury time, Lass Schone finally produced what his team mates missed throughout the game, a finish. The midfielder fired a fine effort into the top corner, but it proved to be too little too late, as the referee blew the full time whistle straight from the restart.

A harsh lesson for Frank de Boer’s boys on taking chances, and without a miracle Ajax are now out of the Champions League after only one point in three games.

It is now a task to finish above Celtic and claim a Europa League spot with a third place finish. Ajax welcome Celtic to the Amsterdam Arena in two weeks in what is now a win or bust game.




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