Ajax suffer their biggest ever home defeat in European football
A disastrous evening in Amsterdam for Ajax in the Champions League as they broke the record for their biggest ever home defeat in European competition in their club’s history. After going ahead due to a Mohammed Kudus goal, they conceded six goals to Napoli, losing 1-6.
Ajax was hoping to bounce back from a disappointing draw at home to Go Ahead Eagles at the weekend. Alfred Schreuder made four changes to his lineup: Steven Bergwijn, Mohammed Kudus, Edson Alvarez, and Steven Berghuis returned to the side. Napoli is top of the Italian Serie A table. They beat Torino 3-1 last weekend.
It was an ideal start for the reigning Eredivisie champions when Kudus continued his great Champions League form by scoring his fourth goal of the group stage, albeit with a lot of luck. Kenneth Taylor found himself with a perfect shooting opportunity, and his shot was deflected in off the leg of Kudus to give Ajax the lead after eight minutes.
Napoli had already shown signs of danger before they equalized after 18 minutes. Left-back Mathias Olivera broke away down the left before delivering an inch-perfect cross for Giacomo Raspadori to head into the far corner.
Napoli took the lead after 32 minutes with another header. This time it was the other fullback Giovanni Di Lorenzo who headed home from a Khvicha Kvaratskhelia cross.
Despite being a goal down, Ajax was still unable to contain the Neapolitans, who were finding a lot of space behind the defence. After Piotr Zielinski had missed a chance earlier by shooting right at goalkeeper Remko Pasveer, he was awarded an even easier opportunity just a few moments later. The Napoli front line exploited a huge gap through the middle of the Ajax defence to put the Polish midfielder one-on-one with Pasveer. This time, he made no mistake giving Napoli a two-goal cushion going into halftime.
Ajax started the second half like they had finished the first, making defensive mistakes and conceding a goal. Pasveer lost the ball with a wayward pass; it was intercepted by André-Frank Zambo Anguissa, who laid the ball off to Raspadori to curl home for his second of the match.
The Italian side from Napels made it five after 62 minutes. A devastating one-two by Kvaratskhelia and Raspadori was finished off by the Georgian winger curling the ball past Pasveer into the far corner.
At this point, many Ajax fans decided to leave the stadium early, and they did not miss anything good from an Ajax perspective. Captain Dusan Tadic was sent off for a second bookable offence with twenty minutes to be played.
And to top off a horrifying night for Schreuder’s men, Substitute Giovanni Simeone made it 1-6 for the Italians poking the ball into the roof of the Ajax net.
Incredibly Ajax was fortunate not to concede a 7th goal when Tanguy Ndombele struck the crossbar late on. Ajax’s next match in the Champions League is also against Napoli next Wednesday in Napels. Ajax is currently third in the group with three points. Napoli now leads the group, having won all their matches thus far this season in the Champions League.