Ajax have got off to a great start in the Champions League group stages after comfortably defeating AEK Athens 3-0 in the Johan Cruyff ArenA.

Ajax had to do without Matthijs de Ligt for their first Champions League group game in four years with the centre-back picking up an injury in training. Carel Eiting came into the starting eleven with Frenkie de Jong slotting in at the back.

Ajax started brightly with Dusan Tadic and Hakim Ziyech getting space in behind the AEK defence, but they couldn’t create any clear cut chances. The home side would only have one shot on target during the first forty-five minutes which was a weak Ziyech effort. At the other end, AEK went closest with a free header by Simões flying just wide.

After Ki-Mani Marley serenaded the crowd at halftime, Ajax supporters had another reason to celebrate a minute into the second half when David Neres found an unmarked Nicolas Tagliafico in the box and the left-back slotted in the opening goal.

Tagliafico nearly had a second on 57 minutes but his header was somehow kept out by AEK goalkeeper Vasilios Barkas. Ajax continued to push forward and in the 77th minute, substitute Donny van de Beek finally made it 2-0 with a lovely volleyed finish from a Tadic cross.

Kasper Dolberg was then introduced for his first appearance of the campaign as Ajax comfortably saw out the rest of the game and added a third before the end. Tagliafico mishit a cross which looped over Barkas.

A great start to the campaign for Ajax who now must prepare for the away trip to PSV Eindhoven this weekend. Next up in the Champions League is a trip to Bayern Munich.




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