Standard outclassed by Ajax

Standard were given a lesson in football by the Dutch club Ajax in the return leg of their Champion’s League qualifier on Tuesday evening. After having come back from being two goals down to draw the first leg 2-2, Standard still had hopes of qualifying for the play-off round for a place in the group stage of this season’s UEFA Champions League. However, it was not to be and Standard will now compete in the group stage of the Europa League instead.  

Encouraged by their fan in the Johan Cruijff ArenA, Ajax got off to a strong start. The first big chance came on 8 when Huntelaar shot just wide from a Ziyech pass.

Standard defended well and Ajax were initially unable to translate their superiority on the field into goal. De Ligt came close, but his header went just wide. Standard’s best and only) chance came from a weak Bastien shot.

The near one way traffic resulted in a goal for Ajax on the half hour through Huntelaar. Ajax extended their lead to 2-0. 5 minutes later when De Ligt’s (photo below) header was deflected into goal by the unfortunate Emond.  

Ajax continued to push forward Neres come close to making it 3-0 and there were near-misses for Ziyech and Huntelaar. The half ended 2-0 to Ajax.

No miracle for Standard

Standard would need nothing short of a miracle (and three goals in 45 minutes) if they were to qualify. David Neres made this prospect even less likely though when he made it 3-0 to Ajax 2 minutes in.  

Job done for the Dutch and then turned things down a gear. This allowed Standard back into the match and Mpoku hit the post, while a few minutes later Emond shot just wide.  

Ajax came close to making it 4-0. However, Ochoa was on hand to deny Huntelaar, Tadiv and Van de Beek. Carcela (photo below, left) came close to scoring a consolation goal for Standard, but it was not to be and the score remained 3-0 to Ajax on the night and 5-2 on aggregate.