Is There Any Way To Stop Ajax’s Youthful Football Revolution?
Regardless of the final result, this tie will go down as one of the most thrilling encounters in the UEFA Champions League in recent decades. Two of the teams for football hipsters around the world are battling it out for a place in the finals stage of the most prestigious club competition in the world.
So, what happened in the first game? And, what can we expect in the second leg? Nitrogen Sports Blog discusses those items below.
Youthful enthusiasm and great skill propel Ajax to victory
The way Ajax started the all-important semifinal game against Tottenham Hotspur, you might think this was a team used to reaching the final stages of the UEFA Champions League.
But that is in fact far from the truth. While Ajax has reached the finals of the European Cup / UEFA Champions League six times before, the last time it happened was in 1995, so it’s been a while since the Eredivisie side was able to get to that stage.
After beating Tottenham in the first leg, Ajax have their sights on a return trip to the finals clearer than ever.
Ajax are feeding off its youth-laden roster that’s been teeming with incredible potential. They scored quickly through Donny van Der Beek and pushed the Spurs into a corner for the first 30 minutes. Speed, technique and an abundance of enthusiasm were the Dutch side’s weapons of choice.
Slowly, Spurs regained composure and even managed to create some real chances. But, the absence of players like Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, as well as Vertoghen’s horrific mid-game injury, really set the British side back. The second leg will be providing them with few extra options.
Tottenham looking to pull off an upset
Spurs have done it once before this season. In the quarterfinals, the Spurs kept their hopes up until the dying stages of the game before eventually eliminating Manchester City out of the competition. But, Ajax seem to possess something truly special this season.
Ligt and Jong are likely to set the pace of the game. Neres and Tadic remain big-goal threats for Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris. And, van de Beek will look to continue his inspired play in the midfield.
Tottenham’s manager Mauricio Pochettino will have little choice but to appeal to all his star players, regardless of their health status. We may see Harry Kane back into the fold. Spurs will be hoping to get the most out of talented midfielders, Eriksen and Alli.
Ajax vs. Tottenham is shaping up to be a match that should not be missed by any football fans. Regardless of the winner, seeing either of the two sides play a UEFA Champions League final will be a momentous occasion.
Ajax and Tottenham had a thrilling first leg matchup in the semifinals, and it’s not much of a reach to think that the two sides can top that, as they look to add fireworks to their semifinals showdown.
For more about the UEFA Champions League, you can visit Nitrogen Sports Blog’s UEFA Champions League guide.