Ajax threw away a two-goal lead at half time against Atalanta and could only take a 2-2 draw away from their Champions League clash.

After a starring role in the 13-0 win over VVV Venlo, Lassina Traore started up front for Ajax, while Antony made his Champions League debut. David Neres was also selected in an attacking Ajax line-up.

Erik ten Hag’s decision paid off with Ajax threatening from the start in Bergamo as both teams attacked. Dusan Tadic dragged a shot wide and Noussair Mazraoui volleyed wide for Ajax, while Josep Ilicic put a chance over for Atalanta.

On the half-hour mark, Traore was caught by a high foot from Robin Gosens, and Ajax were awarded a penalty. Tadic made no mistake from the spot to make it 1-0. Eight minutes later, David Neres found Traore in the box and although Marco Sportiello stopped his first effort, the striker worked the ball into the net.

Three minutes into the second half, Andre Onana was forced into a good save to stop Ilicic’s free-kick from just outside the box. Two minutes later, Perr Schuurs should have made it 3-0 after breaking into the box but he couldn’t fire past Sportiello.

In the 53rd minute, Atalanta pulled one back when Duvan Zapata rose to head past Onana. On the hour it was 2-2 with Zapata netting again after finding space to burst into the Ajax box and smash the ball past Onana.

Atalanta threatened to take the lead but Onana saved from Pasalic, while Gomez missed a good chance. At the other end, Antony went close twice but Sportiello did well to deny the Brazilian attacker.

The final attempt of the game fell to Atalanta but Ruslan Malinovskyi fired over the bar. The midfielder then took down Antony in a late challenge, which saw the attacker leave the game on a stretcher.

Ajax take a point in Italy but must be disappointed to not have all three. They will now face Midtjylland in two must win games.

admin (14440 Posts)

Follow @Footballoranje_ on Twitter