Ajax already almost certain of the quarterfinals EL after convincing victory over Young Boys
Ajax took a giant step to the quarter-finals of the Europa League in the Johan Cruijff ArenA on Thursday. The team of trainer Erik ten Hag was much too strong for Young Boys (3-0) in the first leg in the eighth finals.
From the start Ajax was supreme against the reigning Swiss national champion. In the initial phase, the team from Amsterdam already missed several good opportunities, while the weak Young Boys did almost nothing.
It took until the 62nd minute for Davy Klaassen to turn the lead into 1-0. In the 82nd minute Dusan Tadic signed for the 2-0 and just before time, substitute Brian Brobbey made it 3-0.
Because of the big victory, Ajax has a good starting position for next week’s return in the Wankdorf Stadium in Bern, where the artificial turf will kick off at 9 p.m. The Amsterdam club will first play an away match against PEC Zwolle on Sunday.
Good news is that the Netherlands will pass Russia by Ajax’s victory on the UEFA coefficient list and rise to seventh place. At the beginning of this season, the Netherlands was still tenth.
Sulejmani surprising in Young Boys base
On Thursday evening in the ArenA, Ajax could and should have scored against Young Boys in the first twenty minutes. In the fourth minute there was already a huge opportunity for Antony and eight minutes later the Brazilian headed wide. Ryan Gravenberch and Neres also left opportunities untapped.
Young Boys – surprisingly in the starting line-up with former Ajax player Miralem Sulejmani – offered almost nothing offensively in return. The team that stands alone in the Swiss league (nineteen points ahead of number two Servette) was lurking for a counter, but Ajax had it under control in the back.
In the course of the first half, the home team no longer succeeded in converting the predominance into opportunities. Ajax did not get further than a shot from Tadic straight into the hands of Faivre, making it 0-0 halfway.
Álvarez and Idrissi miss opportunities
The return of Sulejmani to the ArenA was not a success, as the now 32-year-old Serb was left behind in the dressing room at half time. Ajax resumed the hunt for a goal without changes, resulting in a header from Edson Álvarez, which was tapped out by Faivre, and a shot wide by Antony.
In the 62nd minute it was finally hit for Ajax. An attack through the middle came via Álvarez and Tadic to Klaassen, who shot hard and high with Faivre face to face (1-0).
Because Young Boys turned out to be too weak after the opening goal to make a fist offensively, Ajax could hope for more afterwards and that happened. After a cracked shot by Nicolás Tagliafico, Tadic fired in eight minutes before the 2-0 and after that it was Brobbey who almost decided the diptych. The young attacker first hit the post, but in injury time he made it 3-0.