Ajax still in the lead after game at Bayern

Ajax still in the lead after game at Bayern

After the second round of play of the UEFA Champions League, Ajax is still in the lead in group E.  in Munich, Erik ten Hag’s team drew even with Bayern, 1-1, after a very early defecit. Noussair Mazraoui scored the tying goal.

Coach Erik ten Hag surprised everyone with his line-up for this 2ndUEFA Champions League group match against Bayern Munich.  Prior to the game, the question had been whether he would choose Klaas Jan Huntelaar or Kasper Dolberg as centre forward.  The answer was somewhat surprising, as both Huntelaar and Dolberg started the game on the bench.  Frenkie de Jong wasn’t fit, and as a result, the eleven who were on field at kick off were not the usual suspects.

Van de Beek back on the squad

Donny van de Beek returned to the line-up, Max Wöber was at Matthijs de Ligt’s side in the heart of defense, and as a result, Daley Blind moved over to midfield.  Offense consisted of the dynamic Hakim Ziyech – Dusan Tadic – David Neres trio.

No breathing room for Ajacieds

The home team – who, via Arjen Robben, had a good opportunity in the 3rdminute - didn’t give any breathing room to Ajax right after kick off.  Andre Onana was put to work immediately, but in the 4thminute, was defenseless against a header by Mats Hummels, 1-0.

The Amsterdam team needed to keep a cool head, remain focused and play its own game.  Ten Hag’s team managed to do this and their recovery led to an opportunity for Tadic in the 17thminute.  Unfortunately, his shot was too high.  Three minutes later, an attempt by Ziyech was almost too powerful for Neuer. Almost…

Mazraoui: 1-1!

But in the 22ndminute, it happened!  Noussair Mazraoui set up the attack himself and his shot – via a German leg – went past Neuer, 1-1.  Just before the break, Ziyech took an amazing shot, which was deflected over the crossbar by Neuer.  But Ajax retreated to the locker rooms with a moral victory,

100 per cent opportunities

Ajax made a great start in the 2ndhalf. Within a few minuts, Ajax had 2 good opportunities to bring the score to 1-2. Tadic and Tagliafico came up short in outplaying Neuer.  The same thing happened at 60 minutes when Ziyech and Van de Beek were in great scoring position after a pass by Tadic.  But then, too, Neuer emerged as the winner.

This was a shame, as Ajax effectively gave Bayern the chance to recover without having taken the lead.  And the Southern Germans did indeed recover.  They went from strength to strength, with 20 minutes to go.  But Ajax made its presence felt as well.  Van de Beek had the 3rdbig opportunity of the second half at the 72ndminute, but, free in front of Neuer, he sent his shot wide.

Football battle

A beautiful football battle ensued, in which Onana was able to punch the ball out of his goal in the 77thminute.  And Kasper Dolberg came in for Neres in the 85thminute.  Would he manage to do what he had done against Te Werve and Fortuna?  Would he score?

In extra time, Lasse Schöne came close to scoring the winning goal. His free kick was pushed against the crossbar by Neuer, and Dani de Wit was just too late to finish the goal successfully.  The score remained 1-1, which is most likely a result that everyone was relatively satisfied with.