Oct 1, 2013 at 7.45pm UK at ​Amsterdam Arena
AC Milan
FT(HT: 0-0)
Balotelli (92' pen.)
Constant (42'), Balotelli (61')

Match Analysis: Ajax 1-1 AC Milan

Ajax's Lerin Duarte and Milan's Robinho battle for the ball during their Champions League group match on October 1, 2013
© Getty Images
Sports Mole takes a closer look at tonight's Champions League Group H clash between Ajax and AC Milan at the Amsterdam ArenA.

Ajax and AC Milan played out a 1-1 draw in their Champions League clash at the Amsterdam ArenA this evening.

A late header from Stefano Denswil looked to have decided matters in the Dutch capital, but Mario Balotelli's late penalty ensured that the Rossoneri left with a point.

Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look to see if the result was fair.

Match statistics

Shots: 10
On Target: 6
Possession: 59%
Corners: 5
Fouls: 15

Shots: 7
On Target: 5
Possession: 41%
Corners: 4
Fouls: 9

Was the result fair?

On the balance of play, yes. However, the late penalty was a soft decision by the referee, so Ajax have every right to feel aggrieved. If ever there was a game of two halves, this was it.

Ajax's performance

They controlled the first 45 minutes, although they didn't really create much in front of goal. The only chance that they created was in the fifth minute, with Christian Abbiati saving from Kolbeinn Sigthorsson. Their only other efforts came from long range, with Viktor Fischer and Lerin Duarte both forcing Abbiati to take action. They were allowed free reign of the midfield and that allowed them to dominate possession. After coming under pressure in the second half, they managed to snatch what looked like it would be the winner. It wasn't to be, as Mario Balotelli won a penalty from Mike van der Hoorn before stepping up to earn a point for the Rossoneri.

Milan's performance

Massimiliano Allegri's men, quite simply, didn't show up for the first half. The defence sat deep, while Balotelli refused to chase the ball down at the front. Their defending was solid enough, but they hardly saw the ball and when they did, the link between midfield and attack just wasn't there. By contrast, the second half was a marked improvement. All of a sudden Balotelli started harrying the Ajax backline and putting them under pressure. Mistakes inevitably came, but the final ball from Milan wasn't quite there this evening. Still, they leave with a point and will be very happy about that.

Referee's performance

To put it bluntly, Jonas Eriksson has cost Ajax two points this evening. He pointed to the spot after Balotelli went down under the challenge of Mike van der Hoorn, allowing the Italian striker to steal a point when it looked like they would leave the Dutch capital empty-handed.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Jasper Cillessen: The 24-year-old Dutch international stood in for Kenneth Vermeer this evening and made a number of vital saves to prevent Milan taking the lead in the second half. This is a performance that will inspire confidence.

Biggest gaffe

It has to be the penalty decision, which has cost the hosts dearly.

What's next?

Ajax: Frank de Boer's men play host to Utrecht in the Eredivisie on Sunday, before a trip to FC Twente the weekend after. Their next Champions League match is an away match against Celtic, where they could come up against former winger Derk Boerrigter.

Milan: Diavolo travel to Juventus for a massive game in Serie A on Sunday, then Barcelona visit the San Siro in the Champions League on October 22, after the international break.

Ajax's Lerin Duarte and Milan's Robinho battle for the ball during their Champions League group match on October 1, 2013
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