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Champions League group stage recap: Ajax dazzle all comers

The Amsterdammers won all six of their group stage games with Sébastien Haller scoring in every match.

All of Ajax's group stage goals

Recording six wins from six UEFA Champions League group stage games for the first time in their history and with Sébastien Haller finding the net in every match, Ajax roared into the round of 16 in a manner which suggests they could go all the way in this season's competition.

Round of 16: Benfica vs Ajax

Campaign so far

Ajax's group stage story

Group B winners: W6 D0 L0 F20 A5
Top scorer: Sébastien Haller (10)

15/09: Sporting CP 1-5 Ajax (Paulinho 33; Haller 2 9 51 63; Berghuis 39)
28/09: Ajax 2-0 Beşiktaş (Berghuis 17, Haller 43)
19/10: Ajax 4-0 Dortmund (Reus 11og, Blind 25, Antony 57, Haller 72)
03/11: Dortmund 1-3 Ajax (Reus 37pen; Tadić 72, Haller 83, Klaassen 90'+3)
24/11: Beşiktaş 1-2 Ajax (Ghezzal 22pen; Haller 54 69)
07/12: Ajax 4-2 Sporting CP (Haller 8pen, Antony 42, Neres 58, Berghuis 62; Nuno Santos 22, Bruno Tabata 78)

Campaign in ten words: Fearless, dynamic, inventive and relentlessly attack-minded, home or away.

UEFA.com reporter's view

This is yet another Ajax side in the 'totaalvoetbal' mould. Every player – including the goalkeeper – is comfortable in possession, even when under extreme pressure, with Haller providing a deadly focal point up front. They switch positions effortlessly, excel at creating and exploiting space, and are committed to flowing, creative football, whether they are in front or behind.

What we've learned

Erik ten Hag's remarkable feat of taking Ajax to the brink of the UEFA Champions League final in 2018/19 was perhaps no flash in the pan. After losing many of that team's key players the following summer, the coach has successfully rebuilt the side while sticking to the same philosophy.

Fantasy star performers

All of Haller's group stage goals

Sébastien Haller – 63 points
Antony – 41 points
Daley Blind – 38 points

Squad changes

In: Brian Brobbey*, Mohamed Ihattaren
Out: Max De Waal, Terrence Douglas, Giovanni, David Neres

*Registered to List B.

Clubs could register a maximum of three new eligible players prior to the knockout stage. Since 2018/19, it no longer matters whether those players have already played in the competition for another club, even for another club still in the competition.

Key stats

• Ajax were one of three clubs to take maximum points in this season's group stage, along with Bayern and Liverpool; prior to 2021/22 only seven sides had previously managed the feat in the competition's history.

• Haller made UEFA Champions League history by scoring four times on his competition debut, and is the second player to find the net in all six group games, after Cristiano Ronaldo for Real Madrid in 2017/18.

• Dušan Tadić provided 37 assists in all competitions during the 2021 calendar year, breaking the previous record of 36 established by Lionel Messi.