Johan Cruiff Arena saw something dramatic. Who could believe that Ajax would not be able to qualify from the group stage of the Champions League? After last year’s success, Amsterdam based club could not go for play-offs.
In the Dutch championship, Ajax could not win the last match. Even though Ajax was in the main line-up, the team could not beat Willem. Ten Hag’s players also conceded two goals at home and lost the match. As of now, Ajax is still the leader, but they got a bad mood before the Champions League match.
On the other hand, Valencia was fully ready for this clash. Spanish club’s players knew that it wouldn’t be easy, so they had to give everything. Valencia had a perfect come-back against Levante on Saturday evening. The team was down and could create a crazy come-back scoring four goals by the end of the match.
1st half of the match
As you may know, Ten Hag was in trouble. Dutch coach could not play with Promes and Neres. Both wingers have injuries, so they could not help Ajax. Ten Hag started the match with Lang and hoped for the best results.
The leading attacking players were Ziyech and Tadic. At the same time, Van De Beek was in every position and to help the team. Chelsea had a comfortable home game against French club Lille. Everyone knew that it would be an easy three points for the London club, so Ajax only one goal – not to lose the match.
Valencia could score a goal in the 24th minute. With a fast counter-attack, Dutch defense could not keep up with the attacking line of Valencia. Rodrigo was successful enough to convert shot into the goal.
Spanish forward had another right moment to score on the 44th minute. Unfortunately for Spanish club fans, Onana was good and saved the moment with legs.
2nd half of the match
Fans went crazy in the second half. It was the first 45 minutes for Ten Hag and his players. They had one clear dream in mind – score one goal and not to lose the match. Valencia was not even attacking; all players were on their side of the stadium and playing defense at a high level.
Unfortunately to Ten Hag, Ajax players could only shot on target twice. Those shots on target were not enough to score a goal, so they could not qualify for play-offs.