The ball was free in front of the goal. Donny van de Beek could have pushed him over the goal line for Ajax Amsterdam from around seven meters. Instead, van de Beek just brought his right foot back to signal a shot. The game seemed to come to a brief halt at this moment, as if the spectators had wanted to point out that there was just one hit in the making that showed why the football world was down in Ajax this season. The league leaders of the Dutch league had combined over several stations to van de Beek, who was crucial free in the penalty area of Tottenham Hotspur. With the described deception maneuver led the playmaker the French World Cup goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the wrong, who robbed himself of the defense chance by throwing himself too early on the ground. Only then van de Beek shot the ball into the goal (15th). A hit on the style of the house so to speak, in whose view everyone suspects that the design must come from Amsterdam.
After captain Matthijs de Ligt and midfielder Frenkie de Jong, Donny van de Beek, 22, has also made a name for himself at Ajax Amsterdam on Tuesday night with his winning goal in the round of the last four of the Champions League. His goal after a quarter of an hour formed the course of the first phase of the first leg, in which Ajax the own joke to the best that left open in amazement of the mouth. Without commenting on the occasion – the club's first semi-final appearance in the premier class after 22 years – the Amsterdam boys unraveled their moves. One combination surpassed the next, so that the phrase "play one on the wall" could actually withstand its symbolism.
With a five-line defense, Tottenham took on the opposition at the beginning, until one player after the other additionally dropped back – in the hope of not having to go further into the void. The post prevented David Neres from taking a late-stage counterattack against Ajax – so Tottenham can (or must) try to reach the finals in the prestigious European competition for the first time in the rematch in Amsterdam next week ,
Ajax first time favorite
As the third club ever after FC Bayern (2013) and Real Madrid (2018), Amsterdam have managed to win any away match in the three eliminatory rounds of a Champions League season by beating Tottenham 1-0. The two previous clubs with this record then picked up the title in the premier class. "A fantastic performance and an excellent result for us," said Amsterdam coach Erik ten Hag: "We have a very good starting position, but we are only half way through." The success for Ajax in London followed the previous victories at Real Madrid and Juventus Turin. With the difference that the four-time European Cup winner in this Ko.-round first competed away – and as a favorite.
The Spurs, beaten by the absence of strikers Harry Kane (ligament injury) and Heung-min Son (yellow card suspension), has held up their resilience far more than their footballing finesse. As if to prove his own tenacity, after a clash with team-mate Toby Alderweireld, defender Jan Vertonghen sewed a laceration on his face for five minutes on the lawn. Although the Belgian international hardly seemed to be with him, Tottenham's medical department approved his further assignment. According to Uefa regulations, the medical profession is responsible for deciding whether a professional is still able to continue playing. Vertonghen was not. Immediately he started the tumbling and had to be replaced with suspected heavy concussion. "He's ok at the moment, but we have to keep watching him, that was a big hit on his head," said Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino.
With his back to the wall Tottenham drew a game of British origin, which wanted to avoid Ajax and thereby came to quality control for the inexperienced team. The move from Pochettino to four central midfield players plus two strikers allowed his team to attack with force on the direct route to the opposing goal. The Premier League's league table did not miss an opportunity to throw the ball criss-cross and above all to the skies to play for physical superiority. Rather than worrying about the opponent's approach, which led Manchester United to the 2017 European League final defeat, the pros at Ajax faced the challenge of defending their men in defense. "We fought like the lions, this willpower was nice to see, showing that football can play in different ways," said ten Hag. On the way to the finals in Madrid on 1 June, Ajax Amsterdam will now only have to prove they know how to handle a first-leg lead – because so far, Ajax has had nothing to lose in every way.
. (tagsToTranslate) Champions League (t) Ajax Amsterdam (t) Tottenham Hotspur (t) Sports (t) Süddeutsche Zeitung (t) SZ