Ajax had to cope against Barcelona having only 10 players in the pitch after the defender Joel Veltman tackled down the Brazilian striker Neymar in the opening few minutes of the 2nd half but the Dutch team still managed to come out on top with a 2-1 triumph that maintains their Champions League hopes alive.
Even with Barcelona’s loss they are still qualified and have secured their place into the knockout stages of the tournament but Ac.Milan and Ajax will be fighting for the 2nd spot of Group H.
San Siro is the final stage that will be seeing both clubs leaving it all on the pitch as they desire to come out from the group alongside the Spanish titans Barcelona.
Ajax had to deal with a number of injuries that included Siem de Jong, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson and Bojan Krkic but their replacements still managed to push their team forward and overcome a Barcelona team that was clearly being felt with the absence of Lionel Messi who is out for the remainder of the year due to an injury.
Danny Hoesen scored the 2nd goal for Ajax at the 42nd minute when he received a rebound from a shot of Viktor Fischer and got past Carles Puyol before firing it into the back of the net.
Following the end of the match, the 22 years old player expressed what it feels like to score against a team like Barcelona.
“You can only dream about this,” Hoesen said. “I had a good feeling before the match. They are probably the best team in the world and to be able to score the winning goal is amazing.”
The morale and confidence level of the team is as high as ever but now the real test awaits them as they have to get a victory against Ac.Milan in order to proceed into the next rounds of the Champions League meanwhile the Italian team are in need of a draw to advance further.
The partnership of Gerrard and Suarez has pushed Liverpool into the 3rd place of the Premier League which is proving to be a game-changer for the club. Gerrard managed to net 2 goals and provide 2 assists in the last 5 league matches meanwhile his partner in crime Luis Suarez is enjoying his time in this season with 6 goals being scored in the last 6 matches.
He was Liverpool’s most expensive signing in 2010 as the English club had to splash out £22.8 million for the Uruguayan forward, the only other player surpassing that price tag was Andy Carroll who Liverpool signed some hours after sealing the transfer for Suarez.
The partnership might soon be over as Suarez has faced problems with the club and he has even made claims of requesting wanting to exit the club. Not only him but also the vice-captain of the squad, Daniel Agger could be playing his last season with Liverpool.
When asked what it would take for him to leave Liverpool, Agger said: “If I don’t play. If the manager doesn’t think I’m good enough that could make me leave Liverpool.
“I’m here to play football, nothing else. So if I don’t play football, then I don’t want to be here.”
His last appearance with Liverpool was back in September when they lost against Southampton but from there on out it has been in a dry run. Brendan Rodgers preffered options are Martin Skrtel, Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho.
“In the run of games Martin Skrtel has had, he’s gained confidence and that has meant I’ve acknowledged and recognised that he’s playing at a really good level,” said Rodgers.
“I’ve always tried to show fairness with the players.
“If you are playing well, you’ll play. If you’re not, you’ll be in and out of the team.”
Ryan Babel is a Dutch professional footballer who currently plays for the Turkish Super Lig club Kasimpasa as well as the Netherlands national team as a winger or a second striker. Babel spent six years at Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam where he was one the stars of their fabled youth academy and quickly made the progression into the senior squad in 2004, scoring 14 goals in 73 league appearances for the club.
This performance brought the youngster to the attention of several European heavyweights and ultimately, Liverpool won the battle for his signature as they paid a £ 11.5 million transfer fee to bring the 21 year old to England to partner Fernando Torres upfront. His spell at Liverpool, however, proved to be a lot less successful as he spent four years at the club, playing 91 matches and scoring just 12 goals for the club.
This came in spite of Ryan Babel being given a vote of confidence by Liverpool and Celtic legend Kenny Dalglish who stated that the player has the ability to terrorize and outrun any defender in the Premier League. After his horror spell in the Premier League for the club, Liverpool sold the Dutchman to TSV Hoffenheim 1899 who paid a transfer fee reported to be in the region of £ 8 million as he signed on to a two and a half year deal.
However, he failed to make a mark for the German club and having been there for 18 months, was released from his contract.
The free agent was snapped up by Ajax Amsterdam as Ryan Babel returned to his spiritual home but he couldn’t repeat the exploits of his first stint at the club and was not handed a new contract, meaning he was free to move to his present club.
Ajax manager Frank de Boer has revealed that he wants the future of the three stars at Ajax to be sorted out as soon as possible. Players like Christian Eriksen and Siem de Jong have revealed that they want to go in search of new challenges.
They have been instrumental part of the successes Ajax have had in recent seasons under Frank de Boer, while they are close to lifting the league title this season as well. Christian Eriksen has been linked with a move to Liverpool by a liverpool fanzine and Borussia Dortmund in recent months, while Toby Alderweireld has been subjected to interest from the likes of Liverpool and Newcastle.
De Boer has said that the future of these players should be sorted as soon as possible because it would help Ajax build for the future rather than dwelling on the past. It would also help them adapt much quicker by being able to bring the replacements ahead of the start of the new season. De Boer has revealed that he may look at the likes of Davy Klaassen in case De Jong leaves in the summer. However, this decision is tough to take when the player is still at the club. The Ajax manager has also said that he has a successor for Alderweireld in the form of Veltman.
“It is important that we quickly anticipate [developments], because we want to adapt accordingly and get better. Suppose De Jong leaves, I have to look at Thulani Serero and Davy Klaassen, in whom I have confidence. It’s good to see that good players want to play in the Champions League with Ajax. Not long ago they wanted to go to clubs like FC Twente,” said the Ajax manager in a recent interview. Christian Eriksen’s contract at the club runs out at the end of next season.
The Belgium international Dries Mertens has said that PSV will be making a big mistake if they think that Ajax are the only contenders for the Eredivisie title this season. Mertens thinks that Feyenoord’s chances of winning the title should not be discounted.
PSV are currently top of the Dutch Eredivisie table. They are ahead of both Ajax and Feyenoord, but Ajax are the closest in the second position. Feyenoord are not too distant, as they are in the third position – just one point behind Ajax. The media has been entirely focusing on Ajax as the main title contender for PSV. Read more »
The young Barcelona striker Isaac Cuenca recently joined the Dutch Eredivisie club Ajax on a loan deal till the end of the season. After completing the loan move, the 21-year-old said that the Ajax manager Frank de Boer was a major influence in convincing him that move to Ajax was the right decision. The Spanish under 23 international had been linked with a whole host of other clubs in Europe before completing a move to Ajax. Cuenca came through the Barcelona youth academy, which has produced several stars like Lionel Messi and Iniesta over the years.
However, he had found first-team opportunities limited under the new management of Tito Vilanova in the first half of the season. As a result, he had to be loaned out in order to help him get experience. Cuenca has said that the formation of Ajax, which is similar to the 4-3-3 employed by Barcelona, was also crucial factor in moving to the Dutch club. After dominating the league for most of the season, the team have been finding it difficult to maintain their form in recent weeks. As a result, they have been overtaken by PSV in the table. PSV have a two point advantage over Ajax after having played 24 matches.
“I am very happy to be here. I could have gone to many other clubs, but Ajax’s 4-3-3 style of play is similar to Barcelona. The presence of the former Barcelona players Frank de Boer and Marc Overmars played a major role. They knew me well and wanted me. I hope to play this weekend, but that is a decision of the coach. Now I am 100 per cent fit. I feel healthy and strong,” said the 21-year-old striker. Ajax now have eight players capable of playing in the forward positions alone.