Top 5 / Top 10

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01 May 2019, 10:36 IST


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van de Beek wheels away to celebrate his opener in the semi-final first legDonny van de Beek’s 16th goal of the campaign proved his most important as he helped Ajax to a slender one-goal aggregate lead in their Champions League semi-final tie against an underwhelming Tottenham Hotspur side in north London. Spurs, who lost their first home game at their new stadium to West Ham last weekend, made four changes and found themselves behind after 15 minutes. Van de Beek’s clever, composed finish beyond a helpless Hugo Lloris broke the deadlock and on another evening, the Eredivisie giants would have been two or three goals ahead. Fernando Llorente, Toby Alderweireld and Dele Alli all had chances to level the scores for the hosts – but failed to capitalise. They will travel to Amsterdam with a deficit to overturn in next week’s second leg clash. Without further ado, here’s a look at five hits and flops from the clash itself: #5 Flop: Victor Wanyama As the picture shows, Wanyama was effectively isolated and his impact lessened by a crafty AjaxVictor Wanyama won four aerial duels, completed two tackles and interceptions to accompany three clearances on a busy evening in midfield – but ultimately came up short and was exposed by a savvy Ajax side. They had done their homework, ensuring he was to be targeted in possession from the offset and it visibly unsettled his rhythm early on as Spurs aimed to grab a foothold in the game. He relinquished possession on a number of occasions, either through being rushed into mistakes or just picking the wrong passing option altogether. Perhaps what was more surprising is that his awful pass completion rate (58.5%) was not a game-low, his teammate Llorente (57.9%) had that accolade. Moussa Sissoko, a forced change for the injured Jan Vertonghen, provided precisely what was expected of Wanyama and then some. Food for thought.

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