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Ajax claim Barcelona scalp to stay in contention

Published: Tuesday 26 November 2013, 22.50CET
AFC Ajax 2-1 FC Barcelona
Goals from Thulani Serero and Danny Hoesen earned the Dutch champions a vital Group H win which kept them within a point of second place.
by Derek Brookman
from Amsterdam ArenA

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Match statistics

AjaxBarcelona

Goals scored2
 
1
Possession (%)40
 
60
Total attempts9
 
9
on target6
 
8
off target3
 
1
blocked1
 
6
against woodwork0
 
0
Corners3
 
10
Offsides2
 
3
Yellow cards2
 
5
Red Cards1
 
0
Fouls committed21
 
17
Fouls suffered16
 
19
Passes433
 
712
completed292
 
568

Standings

Last updated: 19/06/2014 19:34 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Tuesday 26 November 2013, 22.50CET

Ajax claim Barcelona scalp to stay in contention

AFC Ajax 2-1 FC Barcelona
Goals from Thulani Serero and Danny Hoesen earned the Dutch champions a vital Group H win which kept them within a point of second place.

AFC Ajax deservedly defeated FC Barcelona 2-1 despite playing almost the entire second half with ten men.

The Eredivisie champions had their illustrious opponents on the rack from the word go and went ahead when Thulani Serero drilled a low shot beyond José Manuel Pinto. The Blaugrana did surprisingly little in response, and the home side's continued excellence was rewarded when Danny Hoesen netted after the Barça goalkeeper spilled a Viktor Fischer strike. Xavi Hernández's penalty and Jöel Veltman's red card changed the tack of the game, yet Ajax managed to withstand the pressure, claiming three precious points that catapult them back into contention in UEFA Champions League Group H.

Despite having lost their previous nine encounters against Spanish opposition, Ajax did not start like underdogs. Tenacious in the tackle and pressing high up the park, they gave the visitors no time to settle. Pinto was the first keeper called to action, smothering a Fischer drive, though he was powerless to prevent his team falling behind on 19 minutes. Ricardo van Rhijn fired in an excellent early cross and the inrushing Serero artfully prodded home. The already ecstatic home support nearly lifted the roof off the stadium when Lasse Schöne's vicously swerving effort narrowly cleared the bar after a superb run and pass by Nicolai Boilesen.

A timely intervention by Veltman stopped Neymar getting a clean shot when through on Jasper Cillessen. Yet it was the Amsterdam outfit who continued to defy the odds by doubling their lead in the 42nd minute. Pinto did well to block a rasping Fischer attempt and Hoesen picked up the rebound to rifle home. Not surprisingly, Frank de Boer's side left the field to a standing ovation.

The match took a dramatic twist almost immediately after the restart. Van Rhijn's pass exposed Veltman and his last-gasp tackle on Neymar resulted in a straight red card and a penalty. Xavi converted with aplomb. Cillessen then brilliantly tipped over a Neymar lob after a delightful through ball by Andrés Iniesta as Barça tried to turn the screw. Yet Gerardo Martino's men fashioned relatively few clear-cut openings out of their territorial superiority. In the end Ajax managed to see out the game without too much discomfort. Their mission is now clear: beat AC Milan in Italy and claim second spot in Group H. After tonight's performance it would be no more than they deserve.

Last updated: 03/12/13 19.42CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000479/match=2011838/postmatch/report/index.html#ajax+claim+barca+scalp

Lineups

ajax

Ajax

barcelona

Barcelona

22
CillessenJasper Cillessen (GK)
13
PintoJosé Manuel Pinto (GK)
2
Van RhijnRicardo van Rhijn
Yellow Card59
2
MontoyaMartín Montoya
Yellow Card68
4
MoisanderNiklas Moisander (C)
3
PiquéGerard Piqué
Yellow Card31
7
FischerViktor Fischer
4
FàbregasCesc Fàbregas
Yellow Card39
Substitution82
12
VeltmanJoël Veltman
Red Card48
5
PuyolCarles Puyol (C)
Substitution68
15
BoilesenNicolai Boilesen
Substitution34
6
Xavi HernándezXavi Hernández
Goal49
Substitution74
17
BlindDaley Blind
7
Pedro RodríguezPedro Rodríguez
18
KlaassenDavy Klaassen
8
IniestaAndrés Iniesta
Yellow Card52
20
SchöneLasse Schöne
Yellow Card8
Substitution51
11
NeymarNeymar
Yellow Card53
23
HoesenDanny Hoesen
Goal42
Substitution84
14
MascheranoJavier Mascherano
25
SereroThulani Serero
Goal19
17
SongAlex Song

Substitutes

1
VermeerKenneth Vermeer (GK)
25
Oier OlazábalOier Olazábal (GK)
5
C. PoulsenChristian Poulsen
Substitution34
15
BartraMarc Bartra
6
Van Der HoornMike van der Hoorn
16
BusquetsSergio Busquets
8
DuarteLerin Duarte
Substitution84
24
Sergi RobertoSergi Roberto
Substitution74
16
L. AndersenLucas Andersen
27
GabarronPatric Gabarron
Substitution68
24
DenswilStefano Denswil
Substitution51
28
TraoréAdama Traoré
Substitution82
34
De SaLesly de Sa
29
DongouJean Marie Dongou

Coach

Frank de Boer (NED) Gerardo Martino (ARG)

Referee

Pavel Královec (CZE)

Assistant referees

Roman Slyško (SVK), Martin Wilczek (CZE)

Fourth official

Antonin Kordula (CZE)

Additional assistant referees

Radek Příhoda (CZE), Michal Paták (CZE)

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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