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Ajax rejoice, City count the cost

Published: Thursday 25 October 2012, 8.05CET
"It feels great," Christian Eriksen told UEFA.com after starring in AFC Ajax's 3-1 win against Manchester City FC, which left Joleon Lescott to concede: "It's going to be tough to go through."
by Derek Brookman
from Amsterdam ArenA
Published: Thursday 25 October 2012, 8.05CET

Ajax rejoice, City count the cost

"It feels great," Christian Eriksen told UEFA.com after starring in AFC Ajax's 3-1 win against Manchester City FC, which left Joleon Lescott to concede: "It's going to be tough to go through."

Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen, the architect of AFC Ajax's unexpected 3-1 UEFA Champions League Group D defeat of Manchester City FC, told UEFA.com how the English title holders' playing style suited his side better than that of Real Madrid CF, who won 4-1 in Amsterdam on matchday two. Meanwhile, winger Tobias Sana was delighted to be playing at this level against such illustrious opponents.

Christian Eriksen, Ajax midfielder
It feels great. Manchester City played a different game to Madrid, less zonally, and that was better for our playing philosophy. We were able to find more space between their lines and made good use of that. Unfortunately we went to sleep for ten seconds and conceded a goal, but we'd got a boost because we started so well, and luckily we equalised before half-time. That made the second half easier. When we went 3-1 up I have to admit that it went through my head we were also 3-1 ahead at the weekend [against Heracles Almelo] and ended up drawing 3-3, but I think we all felt that we wouldn't let that happen again. There was an element of luck in my goal, but you have to make your own luck in matches. It will be more difficult in Manchester in two weeks – they now know how we play – but we'll be ready, and we're really looking forward to it.

Tobias Sana, Ajax forward
City are a strong team and they have world-class players in every position. You saw the last game they played in the league, they were one man down [against West Bromwich Albion FC] yet still won. But we played very well and deserved to win the three points. At Ajax we always try to have possession. Against Madrid in the last game, we didn't have a lot of the ball. Tonight, for the first 20 minutes, we did, and that showed us that we were capable of winning. When they took the lead I thought: 'Not again!' But we came back and scored three, and the game was over. I even had the chance to make it four – I should have made sure. But I'm new to the Champions League. Two months ago I was playing in Sweden in a smaller competition, and now I'm up against guys like Yaya Touré.

Joleon Lescott, Manchester City defender
It's a lot easier to do things in training because you don't know where the opposition is going to play or how wide, and they showed they were confident on the ball and worked for each other. It was hard for us to pinpoint our positional play because they were so organised and compact. I think we were prepared well enough, the same as for any other game, the only difference was we trained at the stadium rather than at Carrington. It was just one of those things. We know now it's going to be tough to go through, but we've now got two home games so they are must win for us.

Last updated: 25/09/14 4.24CET

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