Ajax tops Besiktas to win another Champions League group match
With Steven Berghuis in a leading role, Ajax has won its second group match in the Champions League. The Amsterdam club defeated Besiktas in the sold-out Johan Cruijff ArenA by the score 2-0.
Berghuis was the key player for the home team. The attacking forward gave Ajax the lead in the 17th minute, and set up Sébastien Haller's goal, which put the score at 2-0 just before halftime. Berghuis, who just recovered from a groin injury, was selected as a starter over Davy Klaassen by trainer Erik ten Hag.
The first opportunity was for Michy Batshuayi, the Belgian striker from Besiktas, who hit the post in the 10th minute. But then Ajax But then Ajax had 16 goal scoring opportunities in a row before halftime, an almost unbelievable number in the main tournament of the Champions League. The Turkish champion was also missing many players. Esteemed footballers such as Miralem Pjanic, Atiba Hutchinson, Mehmet Topal and Rachid Ghezzal were all injured.
Besiktas' injury list is so full that trainer Sergen Yalcin only had six substitutes on the bench. When Ajax had the ball, the visitors from Istanbul defended with nine players. Only Batshuayi was allowed to remain in the front. He watched from a distance as his teammates failed to prevent Ajax from taking shot after shot. Ryan Gravenberch missed a big opportunity. Antony hit the post. Goalkeeper Ersin Destanoglu turned a header from Sébastien Haller with quick reflexes. And Dusan Tadic missed the biggest chance on an open net.
Trainer Ten Hag also saw his team relax after the break. His team has little to complain about; French referee Benoit Bastien disallowed a goal by Besiktas player Kenan Karaman more than an hour into the match because of a minor foul on Jurriën Timber. Haller also could put away his sixth goal in two group matches. He headed the ball over the front of the goal.
Ajax had many more chances than two weeks ago in Lisbon, when it won big at Sporting Portugal (1-5). Borussia Dortmund will be the team’s next opponent in a match at the Johan Cruijff ArenA on October 19. Ajax will kick off with a table leading 6 points and a goal differential of 7-1.
Reporting by ANP.