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Ibrahimovic goal enough for Ajax

Published: Wednesday 22 October 2003, 22.58CET
AFC Ajax 1-0 RC Celta de Vigo Zlatan Ibrahimovic's winner takes Ajax to the top of Group H.

Match statistics

AjaxCelta

Goals scored1
 
0
Attempts on target3
 
5
Attempts off target5
 
5
Corners2
 
8
Offsides3
 
2
Fouls committed15
 
15
Yellow cards0
5
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 03/10/2013 16:21 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 22 October 2003, 22.58CET

Ibrahimovic goal enough for Ajax

AFC Ajax 1-0 RC Celta de Vigo Zlatan Ibrahimovic's winner takes Ajax to the top of Group H.

By Marcus Christenson at the Amsterdam ArenA

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's goal early in the second half gave AFC Ajax a 1-0 victory which sent them to the top of UEFA Champions League Group H - and left RC Celta de Vigo without a win from their first three games.

Ajax above Milan
AC Milan's surprise defeat at home by Club Brugge KV allowed Ajax to leapfrog the holders at the summit of the group, and meant Celta fell to last place with only two points.

Depleted defence
Ajax were without central defender Julien Escudé, so the 20-year-old Jelle Van Damme deputised alongside Finnish international Petri Pasanen. Celta, meanwhile, were missing the suspended José Ignacio as well as South American trio Gustavo López, Edu and Vagner. Peter Luccin, however, returned from a ban.

Early threat
Ajax, who won 2-0 on Matchday 2 against Club Brugge KV, started furiously and Ibrahimovic rose above a static Celta defence to connect with a Wesley Sneijder free-kick, but his header went wide. At the other end, Savo Milosevic created the away side's first chance in the eleventh minute as he burst into the Ajax area, but his attempt was thwarted by blocking defenders. Luccin then dragged his follow-up wide.

Sylvinho run
Celta slowly worked their way into the game and threatened again in the 21st minute when full-back Sylvinho set off on a commanding run which included a clever one-two with Milosevic and was only stopped by the hands of Ajax goalkeeper Bogdan Lobont.

Pasanen catches up
Then Juanfran raced clear in the 35th minute to create the best chance of the half following a clever flick from Milosevic, but Pasanen recovered lost ground and cleared with a desperate challenge. José Manuel Pinto in the Celta goal, meanwhile, was almost caught unawares seven minutes later when Ibrahimovic cleverly deflected Steven Pienaar's low shot, only for the ball to fly just wide.

Van der Vaart blow
Celta certainly ended the half stronger and Juanfran had a further chance when put through by Juan Velasco; his shot from inside the box lacked the power to beat Lobont. And there was more bad news for Ajax as they lost captain Rafael van der Vaart to an injury, to be replaced by young Romanian Nicolae Mitea.

Decisive goal
But only eight minutes after half-time, Ibrahimovic scored what proved to be the winner for the home side. Picking up the ball on the edge of the box, he ran past Argentinian central defensive pair Fernando Cáceres and Eduardo Berizzo and shot into the bottom right-hand corner for his fifth goal in eleven Champions League games.

Celta chances
Just after the hour, Berizzo went close to equalising, but his header was tipped over by Lobont. Play was now flowing from end to end, and Milosevic saw a header go over the bar 15 minutes from the end.

Home side secure points
The home side, though, played the game out, and with news of Milan's defeat, Ajax now know that victory in Vigo on 4 November could leave them within touching distance of the quarter-finals. Only a revenge win will do on Matchday 4 for Celta, though.

Last updated: 23/10/03 11.02CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2003/matches/round=1712/match=1056843/postmatch/report/index.html#ibrahimovic+goal+enough+ajax

Lineups

ajax

Ajax

celta

Celta

1
LobonţBogdan Lobonţ (GK)
13
PintoJosé Manuel Pinto (GK)
2
TrabelsiHatem Trabelsi
Substitution64
2
VelascoJuan Velasco
3
PasanenPetri Pasanen
3
SylvinhoSylvinho
6
GalásekTomáš Galásek
4
CáceresFernando Cáceres
Yellow Card47
Substitution85
8
PienaarSteven Pienaar
5
GiovanellaGiovanella
Yellow Card60
Substitution81
9
IbrahimovićZlatan Ibrahimović
Goal53
6
BerizzoEduardo Berizzo
10
Van der VaartRafael van der Vaart (C)
Substitution39
9
MiloševićSavo Milošević
Yellow Card50
14
Van DammeJelle Van Damme
10
MostovoiAleksandr Mostovoi (C)
15
MaxwellMaxwell
14
JuanfranJuanfran
Yellow Card69
18
SneijderWesley Sneijder
20
JesuliJesuli
Yellow Card79
19
SonckWesley Sonck
Substitution79
22
LuccinPeter Luccin

Substitutes

31
BoschkerSander Boschker (GK)
1
CavalleroPablo Cavallero (GK)
11
SikoraVictor Sikora
8
Ángel LópezÁngel López
Substitution85
16
N. De JongNigel de Jong
Substitution64
17
MéndezSebastián Méndez
20
LitmanenJari Litmanen
21
JandroJandro
22
YakubuAbubakari Yakubu
Substitution79
23
Sergio FernándezSergio Fernández
23
GrygeraZdeněk Grygera
24
CatanhaCatanha
Substitution81
29
MiteaNicolae Mitea
Substitution39
28
OubiñaBorja Oubiña

Coach

Ronald Koeman (NED) Miguel Ángel Lotina (ESP)

Referee

Markus Merk (GER)

Assistant referees

Heiner Müller (GER), Christian Schräer (GER)

Fourth official

Markus Schmidt (GER)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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