Ajax did good business on Tuesday evening in the Champions League match against FC Midtjylland. The team from Amsterdam recorded a 1-2 victory in Herning and rose to second place in group D.
Antony scores after 47 seconds
Antony put Ajax on 0-1 within a minute and Tadic made it 0-2 in the MCH Arena in the thirteenth minute. The Serbian captain shot an indirect free kick from five meters. Via Anders Dreyer, Midtjylland quickly came back to 2-1, after which it became another exciting one. Ajax did not play convincingly, but did hold their own and thus took three points for the first time this European season.
In the other match in group D, Atalanta was beaten by Liverpool. It became 0-5 in Bergamo, giving the English champion nine points. Atalanta remains on four points and occupies third place by a smaller goal difference (6-7) than Ajax (4-4), although mutual results ultimately count more heavily. The scoreless Midtjylland is number four.
Due to the difficult win, the messy run-up did not have any unpleasant consequences for Ajax, which seemed to miss Dusan Tadic, André Onana, Ryan Gravenberch and Davy Klaassen after a positive corona test, but after a subsequent retest they were allowed to participate.
If the team from Amsterdam also beat Midtjylland in the Johan Cruijff ArenA in three weeks’ time, European wintering is already certain, at least in the Europa League. But Ten Hag’s team now also has a view of the knock-out phase of the Champions League.
Of the four basic players who initially tested positive, only Klaassen started on the bench against Midtjylland. The midfielder only landed shortly before the match and traveled – just like reserve goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg – from the airport to the MCH Arena in one go. Tadic, Onana and Gravenberch had already arrived on Monday evening and were allowed to start from Ten Hag.
The bizarre run-up had no negative consequences for the Amsterdammers. In fact, Ajax had a super start against the Danish champion, because after 47 seconds Antony signed for the 0-1. The Brazilian took charge in the penalty area and pushed the ball into the far corner.
Twelve minutes later it became even better for Ajax. After Midtjylland goalkeeper Mikkel Andersen grabbed a pass back in his hands, referee Bobby Madden whistled for an indirect free kick five meters from the goal. All players of the Danish team went on the goal line, but they could not prevent Tadic from shooting hard and high (0-2).
Ajax seemed on its way to a problem-free evening and a big win, but in the course of the first half Ten Hag’s team started to play worse and worse. In the eighteenth minute, the organization was gone when Midtjylland quickly switched and Anders Dreyer made the 1-2 unhindered.
The Amsterdam club was even lucky that the equalizer did not fall before half time. Dreyer came face-to-face with Onana again, but this time the Cameroonian goalkeeper emerged as the winner. Moments later, defender Erik Sviatchenko headed a free kick wide and striker Sory Kaba also failed to get the ball in.
The weak game made Ten Hag decide to intervene halfway through. Jurgen Ekkelenkamp stayed behind in the dressing room and Klaassen came after all to get a grip on midfield. Ajax also got a little more control, although it didn’t create any chances itself.