Ajax are out of the Champions League after a 1-0 defeat to Valencia at the Johan Cruijff ArenA.

After the defeat to Willem II at the weekend, Erik ten Hag decided to bring Noussair Mazraoui back in for Sergino Dest, while Edson Alvarez replaced Klaas Jan Huntelaar.

Ajax knew they just had to avoid defeat to seal a place in the knockout stages and they had the better of the opening stages. Dusan Tadic put a fierce strike into the side netting as the hosts looked for the opener.

However in the 24th minute, Valencia took the lead against the run of play. A ball loss by Noa Lang led to several defensive errors and eventually, Ferrán Torres put Rodrigo through on goal and he finished past Andre Onana.

Before the break, Ajax came close to an equaliser but Donny van de Beek’s acrobatic effort was cleared off the line.

At the break, Sergino Dest was brought on for Edson Alvarez, who was on a yellow card. Ajax pushed for the equaliser with Hakim Ziyech shooting just wide.

In the 65th minute, Ziyech got Ajax’s best chance of the game but he put the ball wide. Moments later, Lang also tried from close range but his overhead kick also went off target.

Klaas Jan Huntelaar came on but Ajax became more and more frustrated, especially with Valencia players going down very easily. Before the end, Gabriel was sent off for an altercation with Tadic but Ajax couldn’t take advantage.

Ajax finish third in the group and will now drop into the Europa League.




admin (7873 Posts)

Follow @Footballoranje_ on Twitter