It seemed to be such a beautiful Europa League evening for Ajax, which still goes into the weekend with a hangover: AS Roma took a 1-2 victory from Amsterdam and is on the threshold of the semi-final. Football scoop indicates this sour evening in seven conclusions.
Ajax B-AS Roma B: 1-2Both Erik ten Hag and Paulo Fonseca had to miss half a basic number. On the one hand, Andre Onana, Maarten Stekelenburg, Noussair Mazraoui, Daley Blind and Sébastien Haller were missing; on the other hand, Rick Karsdorp, Chris Smalling, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Stephan El Saarawawy and in three-quarters of the Leonardo Spinazzola match were not in. The B-team of Ajax kept the remaining Romans under control, but eventually lost due to a mistake of the goalkeeper and a standard situation. And now we have to win at least 0-2 in Rome. Acid…
Inefficient Ajax cuts himself in the fingerSand that was not necessary at all: Ajax came shortly before rest on 1-0 and it seemed to wait for the 2-0. Dusan Tadics missed penalty was a breakpoint, but Ajax also left enough chances for a field goal: especially Antony did not leave himself unexpressed. The goals actually say everything: Ajax shot nine (!) times between the poles, but scored once, while AS Roma had enough to take four shots on target.
Sharpening falls through the MandWe already talked about the goalkeeper: Kjell Scherpen came over from FC Emmen in 2019 and was finally able to play a series of matches two years later. His salvation on the distance shot of Bryan Cristante was there, but after an hour of play he made a mistake that a goalkeeper should not make at European level. De lange Drent wants to eat weekly next season, but it seems excluded that he will get that chance if he stays with Ajax.
Argentines more convincing than BrazilianThe basic self of Ajax had a high Latino content: Lisandro Martínez and Nicolás Tagliafico formed the Argentine left block in the back, Antony and Neres had to provide samba on the wings. The contrast between the two duos could not have been greater. Martínez and Tagliafico excelled in the back, while Antony was particularly noticeable with missed opportunities and Neres didnt hit a ball.
Undefeated series strandt, Italian Arena series remains InTacten so Ajax had to take his first defeat of 2021 on April 8th, after an undefeated series of 24 (!) competitions. A nineteen year old series remained in place: AS Roma was the last Italian club to lose a European match in Amsterdam in December 2002. In the meantime, Ajax has not won in its own stadium eleven consecutive times: AS Roma has extended the series of AC Milan, Juventus, Internazionale, Fiorentina and Atalanta Bergamo.
Pot 2 in Champions League not yet a certain.At the beginning of this week we looked ahead of next seasons Champions League draw, where Ajax will most likely be present. The Amsterdammers had the chance to catch up with a number of clubs at the club branch, but threatened to stay stuck in spot seventeen. A place in the highly occupied second pot is a real scenario, although Ajax depends on a number of factors. Who will be fourth in the Premier League? Is Paris Saint-Germain still taking the title in France? Who will win these Champions League and Europa League editions? And so on. You can bet that Marc Overmars and Edwin van der Sar regularly make a round of Teletext pages 840 to 845!
Ajax of the future is already closing WarMom with a positive note: the youth always comes up with Ajax. On Thursday night fourteen players were deployed by Ten Hag and six of them were born after the turn of the century: Scherpen, Rensch, Timber, Gravenberch, Antony and Brobbey. Scherpen seems to be finished and Brobbey will be playing for RB Leipzig next season, but the youth training and the scouting department have provided a selection of which Ajax can do well. No matter how the return in Rome ends: if this selection stays together, a nice European adventure can also be used next season.
(Hein Nooijens/Football scoop)