MX23RW : Tuesday, September 28 04:07:18| >> :120:15428:15428:
Apr 30, 2019 at 8pm UK at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Attendance: 60,243
SpursTottenham Hotspur
0-1
Ajax
FT(HT: 0-1)

Live Commentary: Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Ajax - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Ajax's 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in North London as the Dutch side took control of the semi-final tie.
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Donny van de Beek scored an away goal for Ajax as they beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final in North London.

The Dutch side took control of the match in the first half and netted when on top through Van de Beek's composed finish past Hugo Lloris.

Tottenham grew into the contest and nearly scored through Dele Alli's volley, but it was the visitors who came closest to netting a second as David Neres's shot came back off the post.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.


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Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Champions League semi-final first leg between Tottenham Hotspur and Ajax at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

After battling through a group that contained Inter Milan and Barcelona, before overcoming Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City in the knockout rounds, Tottenham are now within 180 minutes of the final.

Standing in their way is Ajax, who produced one of the competition's all-time greatest shocks in knocking out holders Real Madrid, followed by an equally as impressive aggregate victory over Juventus in the last round.

What will give when the two outsiders lock horns in North London? We are about to find out!


TOTTENHAM TEAM NEWS!

STARTING XI: Lloris; Sanchez, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Trippier, Eriksen, Wanyama, Alli, Rose; Moura, Llorente

SUBS: Gazzaniga, Foyth, Walker-Peters, Davies, Dier, Skipp, Sissoko


AJAX TEAM NEWS!

STARTING XI: Onana; Veltman, De Ligt, Blind, Tagliafico; Schone, De Jong; Ziyech, Van de Beek, Neres; Tadic

SUBS: Varela, Sinkgraven, Huntelaar, Mazraoui, Magallan, Dolberg, De Wit


KICKOFF:  Tottenham show four changes from their 1-0 loss to West Ham here on Saturday, lining up with a back three made up entirely of former Ajax players. Eriksen and Alli are expected to start in midfield, with Lucas and Llorente leading the line. As for Ajax, Neres is in for Dolberg from their last outing against Vitesse. Here we go!

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino pictured on April 3, 2019© Reuters


The atmosphere is unbelievable inside the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this evening. This is the biggest game of many of these players' lives, so it may well be cagey. Away goals have proved pivotal in the knockout stages, so keeping out the opposition is just as important as scoring for Tottenham.

Eriksen slides the ball through for Llorente, who holds it up and then attempts to pick out the run of Trippier in behind. The ball is cleared by Ajax before the full-back can get on the end of it. Had Son been starting, he would have gone far more direct.

Van de Beek gets the better of Sanchez but the centre-back makes up for his mistake by cutting out the right-sided cross for a corner, the first of the game. It is crossed into the near post and Llorente clears as far as Van de Beek, who sends his 20-yard shot into the stands.

Moura is caught by Blind in midfield but the referee allows play to continue and Spurs lose possession a couple of seconds later. Nearly 10 minutes have been played in North London and there has been very little between the sides so far, as we await the first serious shot of the match.

Alli turns over possession but he is unable to pick out Llorente, who was perhaps not expecting the pass so early. Tottenham play like a different side when Llorente is stationed upfront.

Ajax are starting to take control of possession, as was always likely to be the case. It is far too early to be talking about a goalless draw, of course, but that is a result that both managers would perhaps be happy with.

Tottenham are struggling to get the ball into the opposition half. When they do get it up to Lucas or Llorente, De Ligt is usually on top of them to stop them getting in behind. Ajax have had 67% of the ball in the opening quarter of an hour.

Ziyech has a pop from 25 yards but Vertonghen gets his body in front of the ball. Ajax are starting to tighten their grip on the match now - Pochettino will not be too pleased with the way this first leg is panning out.

GOAL!  TOTTENHAM 0-1 AJAX (VAN DE BEEK)

Ajax, who have been pretty dominant in the opening quarter of the match, take the lead through Van de Beek's well-taken finish. Ziyech slipped the ball into the path of his teammate and Van de Beek kept his cool from 10 yards to convert past Lloris. VAR checks for an offside but the goal stands.

Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek reacts to opening the scoring for his side against Tottenham Hotspur on April 30, 2019© Reuters


Tottenham are all over the play. Ajax's one-touch passing leads to Neres getting played into space down the left. He cuts the ball back and Sanchez miscues it behind for a corner, which comes to nothing.

Van de Beek has now been directly involved in a goal each of Ajax's three away knockout games this season (two goals and one assist). Rose does very well to win the ball in the box, but he then concedes a free kick with a foul on Neres. The cross is deep and Sanchez blocks it behind.

Tottenham have finally started seeing more of the ball over the last few minutes. Pochettino may have been tempted to tinker with his formation slightly had he had some more options on the bench. The hosts are really struggling to get going.

SAVE!  There are a few groans around this impressive new stadium as Ajax come close to a second - and it would be a deserved second, too. Van de Beek exchanges passes with Tadic and tries to beat Lloris at his near post, rather than squaring it to Tadic for a simple finish. Bad decision!

CLOSE!  Llorente, despite being dragged back, gets on the end of Trippier's cross from the right. The Spanish striker has a lot of work to do from 12 yards and he cannot quite direct his header on target. That is Tottenham's best moment yet.

The weekend off is benefiting Ajax massively. Tottenham start to build momentum but they are forced from the edge of the opposition box right back to Lloris. Pochettino has sent a few players to warm up - he may be tempted to make a change.

That Llorente header 26 minutes in was Tottenham's first attempt of any note so far. It is their longest wait for a shot at home in the Champions League since November 2016 (vs. Bayer Leverkusen, 33 minutes). Ajax look fantastic, it must be said.

YELLOW CARD!  Tagliafico lunges in on Eriksen from behind and is shown the clearest yellow card of the night. Slowly but surely, Tottenham are starting to grow into the match. That could be down to a change of tactics - Vertonghen is at full-back and Rose on the wing.

Vertonghen and Alderweireld clatter heads when trying to get on the end of a free kick. Vertonghen is in a very bad way, flat out on the floor with the physios around him. Play will stop for a few minutes.

Tottenham's players have had a chance to discuss who is playing where during this stoppage in play. Vertonghen appears to have broken his nose but he will soon return to the field once he has changed his bloodied top.

Jan Vertonghen lies on the ground following a clash of heads with Tottenham Hotspur teammate Toby Alderweireld in the meeting with Ajax on April 30, 2019© Reuters


Vertonghen is finally back on the field, sporting a whole new kit. There is an almighty roar as he comes back on to the field. The referee wanted a word with the Tottenham physios first to check if the defender suffered a concussion.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR SUB! Vertonghen lasted about 30 seconds before he decided that he is not OK to continue. He looks properly shaken up following that collision with Alderweireld and needs help down the tunnel. Sissoko is brought on.

There are four minutes of the first half to go, plus probably around six minutes or so added on. Spurs have gone with a 4-4-2 formation of sorts now, with Sissoko - not fully fit - having to hit the ground running. The match has gone very flat.

Tottenham's supporters want a penalty but Veltman made good contact with the ball before tripping Lucas. That was great covering from the Ajax defender.

The home fans are starting to get a little restless as their side are again forced to play the ball all the way back to Lloris. Neres tries to charge away from Sanchez in the next attacking wave and is seemingly shoved in the box, but he was eventually flagged for offside.

Five minutes have been added on at the end of the first half, the first two we have played with little incident. Neither team have really found any rhythm to their game since the stoppage for Vertonghen's injury.

Ziyech races across to help Veltman in his battle with Rose. Tottenham are ending the first half on a high, but they have yet to really create anything of note. Eriksen flicks the ball on but Blind can clear inside the six-yard box.

CLOSE!  Tottenham win a free kick 45 yards from goal and it is sent into a dangerous zone. Alderweireld gets his head on the end of it but his looping header drops on to the roof of the net.

HALF TIME:  TOTTENHAM 0-1 AJAX

Tottenham trail 1-0 at half time through Van de Beek's goal after 15 minutes. Spurs were pretty poor in the opening quarter of the match but they have steadily improved, either side of losing Vertonghen to a head injury, and Pochettino will be encouraged ahead of the second period.

Pochettino made four changes from his side's 1-0 loss to West Ham United here at the weekend, reverting to a three-man defence made up entirely of former Ajax players. It was the current Ajax crop who started the match on top, soon finding their groove and deservedly edging in front through the first serious attacking move of the match.

Pochettino changed shape following his side's slow start and that paid off as Fernando Llorente and Toby Alderweireld headed over the crossbar, either side of the home side losing Jan Vertonghen to a nasty facial injury. The first half petered out a little but it was the Lilywhites who ended the opening 45 minutes on top. Here is a reminder of both sides' benches...

TOTTENHAM SUBS: Gazzaniga, Foyth, Walker-Peters, Davies, Dier, Skipp

AJAX SUBS: Varela, Sinkgraven, Huntelaar, Mazraoui, Magallan, Dolberg, De Wit

Ajax boss Erik ten Hag pictured in March 2019© Reuters


KICKOFF:  Tottenham get us back up and running at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The hosts have not led at half time in any of their 11 Champions League matches this season.

SHOT!  The home side make a fast start to the second half. Llorente does well to flick the ball over his opponent's head but he cannot get a shot away. Alli does but it is blocked inside the box.

SHOT!  Tagliafico puts his foot through the ball from 25 yards and he is not far wide at all. Ziyech thought about stick a foot out to send the ball the other way and he probably should have done so.

It has been a gripping start to the second period, with both sides going for it. Tottenham are looking a lot more threatening, but gaps are opening up for Ajax to exploit. There looks certain to be more goals in this match.

SAVE!  This is the closest Tottenham have come to a goal! Eriksen's shot loops in the air, Lucas nods it down and Alli's volley is well struck. It is too close to Onana, though, and the visiting keeper makes the save. Ajax come forward and Rose produces a last-gasp interception.

Trippier has space to run into down the right. He tries to pick out Lucas with an early cross but it goes straight through to Onana. Tottenham are well on top now and need to make their dominance count, as Ajax did in the first half.

Pochettino is deep in discussions with members of his backroom staff. Tottenham are enjoying a sustained spell of pressure and need to keep up this tempo. Ajax, with an away goal to their name, now need to see through the next 35 minutes.

Another well-worked move from Tottenham ends disappointingly as Alli is unable to keep his headed effort down. The home side are unhappy with how long Onana takes to resume the game from the goal kick - Ajax are happy to waste time now, which is fair enough.

An hour has been played and Ajax still lead 1-0. Tottenham have enjoyed a spell on top but it came to nothing and Ajax have managed to find their feet once again. Spurs win a free kick for Blind's challenge on Lucas.

Trippier's deep delivery is poor, punted up in the air for Onana to collect. Ajax still have all three subs available to use should they wish, while Pochettino can also make two more changes - and it looks as though he will use one of those shortly.

YELLOW CARD!  Rose creates some space down the left and cuts on to his right foot. The cross is a little behind Lucas, though, and he is unable to test Onana. Veltman is booked for holding Alli around the chest to stop him from getting away.

Ajax's Hakim Ziyech in action with Tottenham Hotspur's Lucas Moura in the Champions League semi-final first leg on April 30, 2019© Reuters


AJAX SUB! Schone is replaced by Mazraoui in Ajax's first change of the evening. The visitors' energy levels have definitely dropped in the second half so the fresh legs will do them good.

Lucas takes the wrong option as another Tottenham attack breaks down on the edge of the opposition box. The possession count has been split near enough right down the middle in this second half, with Ajax happier to sit back.

Sissoko spots Rose in all sorts of space in the box but his cross-field ball is plucked out of the air by Onana, who is fouled by Rose in the process. Tottenham are continuing to enjoy the odd promising moment but they are not doing enough in the box.

Pochettino does not have any attacking options on his bench so it is understandable that he has yet to turn to his bench in this second half. Tadic profits from Trippier's error but his right-footed shot is blocked by Alderweireld 15 yards from goal.

Ajax are looking a lot more settled now compared to the opening 15 minutes of the second half. Tagliafico takes an age over the throw to eat up some more time. This will be a very good result for Ajax to take into the second leg.

Eriksen carries the ball forward and, in hindsight, he shot have struck the ball from 25 yards. In the end he slotted it through for Rose, whose shot was well blocked by Veltman. Once again, Onana takes his time over a goal kick.

OFF THE POST!  This could be a huge, huge moment in the tie. Mazraoui brings the ball forward and it is worked across to Neres, who fires the ball across Lloris and against the post. The ball rebounds to safety and Tottenham can breathe a huge sigh of relief.

TOTTENHAM SUBS! Davies replaces Rose in a like for like change on the left and Foyth comes on for Trippier on the opposite flank. Pochettino has no other options - it is just a case of freshening things up.

Tottenham have had just one shot on target tonight, with Alli failing to really trouble Onana with his volley early in the second half. Spurs are finding plenty of space in the final third but they are constantly taking the wrong option.

Lucas wins a free kick and Eriksen sends in a good delivery. Alderweireld gets a bit under the ball and guides it over the crossbar. The Lilywhites are relying a little too heavily on set-pieces for their opportunities at the moment.

Sissoko's cross from the right is disappointing, aimed in a perfect area for Onana to collect. Could one of his teammates have perhaps gambled? Up the other end, Sanchez's diver header in the box prevents an Ajax player from pouncing.

AJAX SUB! There are two minutes of normal time to play at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Ten Hag makes his second change of the contest, bringing on the experienced Huntelaar for Ziyech.

Three minutes have been added on at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. It looks as though the Lilywhites are going to have to do things the hard way. Ajax have an away goal and a slender advantage.

Tottenham are not really getting anywhere at the moment. They are knocking the ball around but Ajax are forming a solid shape and look to have done enough to take a one-goal lead into the return fixture. There are 60 seconds to go.

FULL TIME:  TOTTENHAM 0-1 AJAX

Van de Beek's away goal for Ajax leaves Tottenham with it all to do in next week's return match in Amsterdam. Ajax took control of the match in the first half and netted when on top through Van de Beek's composed finish past Lloris.

Tottenham grew into the contest and nearly scored through Alli's volley, but it was the visitors who came closest to netting a second as Neres's shot came back off the post.


That concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage of events from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. An on-the-whistle report can be found by clicking here, and be sure to join us again tomorrow night for live updates from Liverpool's trip to Barcelona in the other semi-final tie. See you then!

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Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino pictured on April 3, 2019
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