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Champions League: Ajax Claims Impressive First Leg Victory at Spurs

Tottenham 0-1 Ajax

  • Tottenham 0-1 Ajax
  • Van de Beek strikes for visitors (15)
  • Four Spurs changes; Lucas, Llorente start
  • One Ajax change; Neres for Dolberg
  • Champions League semi-final first leg
  • Return leg on Wednesday, May 8
  • Winners face Barca/Liverpool in final


Starting XI: Onana, Veltman, De Ligt, Blind, Tagliafico, Schone, Van de Beek, De Jong, Ziyech, Tadic, Neres.

Subs: Varela, Sinkgraven, Huntelaar, Mazraoui, Magallan, Dolberg, De Wit.


  • Ajax have won just one of their six previous Champions League meetings with English opposition (3-1 vs Man City in October 2012), with all three of their away games finishing as draws (twice vs Arsenal, once vs Man City).
  • After knocking out both Real Madrid and Juventus, Ajax became the first side in European Cup/Champions League history to progress from two different knockout rounds within the same campaign when failing to win their first leg at home.
  • The average age of Ajax’s starting XI in the Champions League this season has been 24 years and 257 days – the youngest of any of the semi-finalists, and second youngest of all 32 teams to take part in the competition this season.
  • Only Lionel Messi (13) has been directly involved in more Champions League goals this season than Ajax’s Dusan Tadic (9 – 6 goals, 3 assists).


Champions League trophy



Starting XI: Lloris, Trippier, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Wanyama, Rose, Eriksen, Alli, Moura, Llorente.

Subs: Gazzaniga, Foyth, Walker-Peters, Davies, Dier, Skipp, Sissoko.

So Mauricio Pochettino has named his strongest possible side as Fernando Llorente and Lucas Moura start up front.

In total, there are four changes from the defeat to West Ham as Jan Vertonghen and Kieran Trippier come into a five-man defence and Victor Wanyama slots into midfield in addition to Llorente’s return.

Moussa Sissoko returns to the bench after missing Spurs’ last three games through injury.

  • Tottenham have won both of their previous meetings with Ajax in all competitions, winning both legs in the first round of the 1981-82 Cup Winners’ Cup (3-1 away, 3-0 at home).
  • Tottenham are looking to become the 40th different team to reach the final of the European Cup/Champions League, and the eighth different English side (already more than any other nation). The last team to reach the final for the first time were their London rivals Chelsea in 2008.
  • Tottenham are playing in their first European Cup/Champions League semi-final since 1961-62, when they were eliminated by eventual winners Benfica.
  • Tottenham have won eight of their last 10 Champions League home games (L2), including each of the last four in a row. They’ve also kept a clean sheet in each of their last three.
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