Lille out of Europe with Ajax loss
An outstanding Ajax side beat LOSC 2-0 at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Wednesday, a result that confirmed Les Dogues will go no further in Europe this season.
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
UEFA Champions League Group H
LOSC 0 - 2 Ajax
Lille already knew before kick-off here that they could not reach the last 16 of this season’s Champions League, while only a win of more than three goals could keep alive any chance of them finishing third in Group H and parachuting into the knockout phase of the Europa League.
However, they got off to the worst possible start as Ajax took the lead inside the opening two minutes, a fine move ending with Dušan Tadić laying the ball off for Hakim Ziyech to fire home first-time from the edge of the area.
Christophe Galtier's team had both top scorer Victor Osimhen and fellow forward Jonathan Bamba back here after missing last weekend's defeat away to Paris Saint-Germain, but their finishing let them down - Bamba was set up by Boubakary Soumaré for a glorious chance on the half-hour mark, but he somehow put the ball over the bar from point-blank range. It was the same story five minutes after the break, as Osimhen showed great strength to set up Jonathan Ikoné for a chance that he put over the bar.
Ajax showed them how it should be done as they doubled their lead on the hour, Ziyech producing a superb piece of play before crossing for Quincy Promes to turn the ball in at the far post.
André Onana then came up with a fine double save to deny Bamba and Yusuf Yazıcı in quick succession, and Ajax could have won by a wider margin - Ziyech had the ball in the net again on 78 minutes but the goal was disallowed as he controlled the ball with his hand, before Donny van de Beek sent a volley off the post (84’).
Lille still have just one point from this European campaign, which they will complete away to Chelsea next month, while Ajax now require just a draw at home to Valencia in their last game to secure a place in the last 16.
THE PLAYER: Hakim Ziyech
Ajax were a class above in this game, unfortunately for Lille, and Ziyech was outstanding. The Moroccan international scored one goal and set up the other, and then had another goal disallowed for handball late on. He hurt his arm controlling the ball in the build-up to that effort, and grimaced as he came off late on, but he is a special player.
THE STAT: 16
Lille have now gone 16 consecutive European matches without winning, drawing seven and losing nine of those matches. It is the worst run for any French club in continental competition.