On Tuesday evening in Bergamo, Ajax left an excellent opportunity to win the full win against Atalanta in the Champions League. After the defeat last week in the first group match against Liverpool (1-0), the team of Erik ten Hag gave a 2-0 head start. After rest, Duvan Zapata struck twice, making Ajax settle for a 2-2 draw.
Ajax started the game in a super-offensive lineup. Lassina Traoré started at rush hour. Last Saturday the attacker played a big part in the historic competition victory of the Amsterdammers against VVV Venlo (0-13). Traoré then scored five times and prepared another three hits. In Bergamo, the Brazilians Antony and David Neres flanked the attacker from Burkina Faso in the forefront.
Traoré also spoke of himself in Italy. In the 38th minute he signed for the 2-0. After a first move by David Neres, he was able to put the ball in the second instance falling into the goal. A few minutes before that, Ajax had already taken the lead. After a violation on Traoré (Robin Gosens wanted to kick the ball away too high), the ball went on the dot. Captain Dusan Tadic continued cooling haemorrhage and popped in the 1-0.
A quarter of an hour after rest, the tension in the duel was completely back. Papu Gómez gave the ball in the 54th minute ahead from the left, where Perr Schuurs made a cover mistake and Zapata could pick it up nicely: 1-2. A few minutes later the same Zapata hit the ball again behind Ajax goalkeeper André Onana: 2-2.
Then both teams went full for the win. There were opportunities over and over again. Ajax almost got a third hit on his ears, but Mario Pasalic shot Onana up close. On the other hand, it was Antony who had the 3-2 on his feet. Goalkeeper Marco Sportiello, however, saved nicely. Also in the three minutes extra time there was no more scoring.
At Atalanta, the surprising number 3 of the previous season in Serie A, Hans Hateboer had a base place. Marten de Roon was missing because of an inguinal injury. Sam Lammers, came over from PSV in September, stayed on the bench for the whole game.
View the pool standings and the programme in the Champions League here.