Wednesday, May 27, 2020 | ePaper

Ajax open Champions League account with Lille thumping amid mass fan arrests

  • Print


Ajax players celebrate scoring their side's third goal during the group H Champions League soccer match between Ajax and LOSC Lille at Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam, Netherlands on Tuesday.

AFP, Amsterdam :
Ajax began their Champions League campaign with a thumping 3-0 win over Lille on Tuesday to spark hopes of another deep run in the competition after their thrilling charge to the semi-finals last season.
Goals from Quincy Promes, Edson Alvarez and Nicolas Tagliafico saw off a spirited Lille side, who came into the match following the arrest of over 300 of their supporters after unrest earlier in the day.
The away supporters were arrested close to the Johan Cruyff Arena hours ahead of the Group H match, with the ANP national news agency reporting that fans were walking along the metro lines, forcing officials to halt rail traffic and evacuate two stations for a short while.
Erik ten Hag's side top the group after the impressive win, level on three points with Valencia following their 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and comes despite the loss of star players Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt in the summer.
"We wanted to take all three points and get off to a good start," said Promes, a close-season signing from Sevilla.
"Given the performances last season, the bar was set high, and people were asking if we could do it again this season. I think a 3-0 victory shows that we can."
A frantic first half saw both sides hit each other with attack and counter-attack, and the hosts thought they had grabbed a 13th-minute lead when Hakim Ziyech brilliantly took Dusan Tadic's pass and fired off a powerful shot, only for the Moroccan to watch in anguish as the ball rattled out off the post and bar.
However they had a deserved lead five minutes later, the impressive Promes beating a dawdling Lille defence to Tagliafico's looping cross and glancing the opener in off the post.
Promes then had a great chance to double Ajax's lead four minutes before the break as he charged onto a pinpoint long pass from Alvarez, but couldn't get enough on his volleyed finish to send it over Lille stopper Mike Maignan.
However they only went in ahead at half-time thanks to keeper Andre Onana, who pulled off an excellent save from Jonathan Ikone before Victor Osimhen spooned over the rebound.
Alvarez doubled the Dutch champions' lead five minutes after the restart when he collected a superb David Neres pass and fired home from a tight angle.
Lille pushed and could have pulled one back through Jonathan Bamba before Tagliafico sealed the three points with a bullet header just after the hour mark to leave a frustrated Lille bottom of the group and home fans dreaming of another year of European drama.
"It was a fantastic night for Ajax and the fans, we played against a very good Lille side, we made a few mistakes that almost cost us dear but fortunately our goalkeeper was there to save us because we put ourselves in difficult situations," said Ten Hag.
"We have to be more vigilant in our weak moments in the rest of the competition, but I am happy with my team, which at times played fantastic football."

More News For this Category

Henderson feels 'safe' after returning to Liverpool training

Henderson feels 'safe' after returning to Liverpool training

AFP, London :Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson insists he has felt "very safe" since his club returned to training amid the coronavirus crisis this week.Jurgen Klopp's side began socially-distanced training

Shakib to remain absent as 'Tamim's Live Show' ends Saturday

BSS, Dhaka :Bangladesh ODI skipper Tamim Iqbal's popular programme 'Tamim' Live Show' is set to end on Saturday after it gave the fans some delightful moments over the past

Korean football club get record fine over sex dolls in stands

Korean football club get record fine over sex dolls in stands

Agency :South Korea's FC Seoul were fined a record 100 million won ($81,000) for using sex dolls to fill seats at a match held behind closed doors, with K-League

Havertz stars as Leverkusen thump Bremen

Havertz stars as Leverkusen thump Bremen

AFP, Germany :Kai Havertz scored twice as Bayer Leverkusen ended the first round of Bundesliga matches in over two months with a 4-1 win at Werder Bremen on Monday

Ronaldo back training at Juventus after two months

Ronaldo back training at Juventus after two months

AFP, Turin :Cristiano Ronaldo returned to training with Juventus in Turin on Tuesday after an absence of over two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.The 35-year-old drove himself into

Games without spectators only a short-term solution, says Arsene Wenger

Games without spectators only a short-term solution, says Arsene Wenger

Agency :Staging football matches without spectators must only be a short-term fix during the COVID-19 pandemic as the prolonged absence of fans could damage the game, former Arsenal boss

Leaders Bayern brush Union aside on Bundesliga return

Leaders Bayern brush Union aside on Bundesliga return

Agency :Robert Lewandowski bagged his 26th league goal this season as leaders Bayern Munich resumed their Bundesliga title chase with a 2-0 win at Union Berlin behind closed doors

Covid-19 highest daily records in deaths and infections in BD: 1,602 new cases and 21 deaths

Covid-19 highest daily records in deaths and infections in BD: 1,602 new cases and 21 deaths

Bangladesh on Monday reported more 21 fatalities of Covid-19 patients while 1,602 new cases detected in the last 24 hours. “With the new fatalities the death toll now stands at

COVID-19 claims life of another policeman in Bangladesh

COVID-19 claims life of another policeman in Bangladesh

Another policeman died from novel coronavirus infection on Monday. Sub-inspector Mujibur Rahman Talukder of the special branch of police's Paltan Zone-1, lost his battle with COVID-19 at the Central Police

 Cyclone evacuation in coastal areas starts Tuesday

Cyclone evacuation in coastal areas starts Tuesday

Bangladesh government will begin evacuating people from its coastal areas to safety on Tuesday as Cyclone Amphan approaches with growing intensity, Disaster Management and Relief Secretary Shah Kamal confirmed it."We