Sebastien Haller scored four times as Ajax started their Champions League campaign with an excellent 5-1 win over Sporting CP in Portugal.

Erik ten Hag decided to start with Haller up front, who made his Champions League debut, while Steven Berghuis continued as a number ten in the absence of Davy Klaassen.

After only two minutes, Ajax had the dream start with Haller netting a header on the rebound. Seven minutes later, Antony burst through on the right before crossing for Haller to net a second goal.

It was the perfect start for Ajax, but Sporting pulled one back after 33 minutes when Remko Pasveer, starting because of Maarten Stekelenburg’s injury, could not keep out a strike from Paulinho. However, Ajax quickly restored their two goal lead as Ryan Gravenberch set up Steven Berghuis to burst in on goal and net his first for Ajax.

Early in the second half, Paulinho thought he had made it 3-2 but the goal was ruled out by VAR for offside. Three minutes later, Antony crossed for Haller to net his hattrick.

The Frenchman was having a dream game and he got his fourth goal in the 63rd minute to become only the second player to net four on their Champions League debut after Marco van Basten.

Ten Hag was then able to make a number of substitutions with Kenneth Taylor coming on for his Champions League debut, while Devyne Rensch, Perr Schuurs, and David Neres all got some playing time.

Ajax comfortably saw out the victory which puts them top of the group ahead of Borussia Dortmund, who defeated Besiktas 2-1. On the 28th of September, Ajax host Besiktas.

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