FC Salzburg gave a footballing masterclass in Amsterdam, constantly disrupting AFC Ajax's rhythm and quickly converting defence into attack to secure a 3-0 UEFA Europa League round of 32 first-leg win that could have been even more emphatic.
Unsurprisingly, Salzburg captain Jonatan Soriano considered his stunning 50-metre goal, which made it 3-0 on 35 minutes, to be the best he could remember scoring. Ajax's Davy Klaassen felt "nothing worked out" for his side, while team-mate Niklas Moisander could not recall "something like this happening before in Amsterdam".
Jonatan Soriano, Salzburg midfielder
That was definitely the best goal I can remember scoring, but I hope it's not the last of its kind. I try to help my team at all times, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, and tonight everything seemed to go our way. What you saw here in Amsterdam was typical of the way we play. Pressing, pressing, pressing when we don't have the ball, and when we are in possession being very direct and aiming to get our forwards involved quickly.
We did do extremely well this evening, although I don't want to think too far ahead and talk about whether we can go all the way in this competition. We take things step by step.
Davy Klaassen, Ajax forward
It wasn't a surprise in as much as we knew beforehand how they play. We appreciated they were a top team and even trained how to counter their style. We definitely didn't underestimate them. It's difficult to put a finger on what went wrong. As a player you try to work hard and do your best, but it felt like nothing worked out for us.
We hardly created a single chance; that never happens. We started better in the second half – it could hardly have been worse than the first – but it wasn't enough.
Their third goal was out of this world, and also illustrative of how things went. I'm sure he [Soriano] doesn't score like that every week, yet tonight everything they tried seemed to come off.
Niklas Moisander, Ajax defender
It was very difficult for us, especially when we had the ball. We are used to building up the play from the back, but they made it almost impossible. They did really well with the amount of pressure they put us under. That made us lose the ball in our own half, which was very dangerous.
When we beat Barcelona [2-1 on 26 November] in the Champions League we basically did to them what Salzburg did to us tonight. We lost every 50-50 ball and they tactically outplayed us. I can't remember something like this happening before in Amsterdam. Hats off to them.
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