Playing against Ajax in their own turf is almost never an easy task, as shown by their unexpected run to Champions League’s semifinal last season.
Thankfully the hosts were far away from their peak today. And Chelsea were rightfully rewarded for their insistence on getting the three points from their trip to Amsterdam.
The initial minutes were a back and forth that bode well for neutrals, but not for those who had a stake in the match. Such is the natural result of two high-intensity sides clashing with each other!
It was Chelsea who got the first proper chance, with Mount cutting into the box and forcing Ajax goalkeeper André Onana to intervene. Meanwhile Ajax had the edge in ball retention and keeping high pressure in our defensive third, although they had been unable to translate this “domination” into shots at goal.
Even then sloppiness, especially in the final third, was also a feature from Chelsea. And with the Blues failing to make the most out of their chances, things almost went completely awry for us.
The hosts ended up finding the lead via play from their wingers, with Hakim Ziyech assisting Quincy Promes in the 35th minute mark. However VAR caught the latter’s offside, thus keeping the 0-0 scoreline for the remainder of the first half.
Problems on both sides persisted in the second half. Neither Ajax nor Chelsea were able to find much upfront, aside from our set-piece defending almost granting Lisandro Martínez a goal from a corner play.
That lasted until the final minutes of the match, when substitutes Christian Pulisic and Michy Batshuayi made the difference for Chelsea. The former was quite incisive from the moment he got on the pitch, and he ended up assisting the latter to get our goal tonight!
COME ON, BLUES!
- No three at the back, nor three-man attacking midfield band for us in this starting eleven — as well as a bench with no centre-back in sight. Injuries still taking a massive toll on us...
- On a positive note, Callum Hudson-Odoi gets to make his full Champions League debut!
- Subs are Christian Pulisic for Willian, Michy Batshuayi for Tammy Abraham and Reece James for Callum Hudson-Odoi.
- Chelsea looking better than expected, with Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori holding up strong in central defence... for the first 35 minutes of play.
- Sloppy play seems to be a feature of both sides. Aside from the cancelled goal, neither were able to get the best out of their plays for most of the match. Nevertheless, we win! Six in a row, baby!
- Refereeing was not very helpful, but we overcame them.
- Next up: Burnley at Turf Moor for the Premier League next Saturday. Make it seven, boys!