‘It was a great evening for Ajax and for the fans,’ coach Erik ten Hag told reporters after the game. ‘We played attractive football and we beat a strong opponent.’
‘However, I think we can do better,’ the trainer of last year’s semi-finalists said. ‘We have a lot of players who like to drive forward and there are times when you have put on the brake and keep possession longer.’
Uefa reporter Derek Brookman said after the game that there had been ‘slight trepidation’as to whether Ajax would be ready for the Champions League after losing three key players in this summer’s transfer season.
‘But the answer is a resounding yes’,’ he said. ‘Against a dogged and quick-to-counter Lille side they produced some sparkling combination football, creating hatfuls of chances and generally kept the tempo too high for the visitors to handle. An excellent start to their Group H campaign.’
Meanwhile, police say all but eight of the 300 Lille fans arrested prior to the game have been realised. They were mainly picked up for walking on the metro tracks and lighting fireworks, leading to metro services being cancelled.
Ajax vs Lille: kick off, live stream, preview, prediction and watch online
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard knows his side must get positive results in their coming Champions League games.
Video: Ziyech desperately unlucky to hit the woodwork with superb individual effort for Ajax vs Lille
Despite chances to win the match and a missed penalty, the Blues suffered a 1-0 home loss to Valencia in the first game of the group stages.
Ironically, it is the French opposition the first for the Ajax giants. They will still be slightly hurt by their departure to Tottenham last period, but the Eredivisie champions won a lot of applause along the way. While they have seen some summer changes, they have managed to keep many key members on the side of last season. Now they will face a great test of their character in this clash with Lille.
It is a tough blow for Lampard, who knows they must get three points in their next away games at Lille and Ajax.
He said the following to Chelseas official website after the Valencia game: “The reality of losing the first game at home makes the rest of the games more important, particularly when they come next back-to-back away from home [Lille and Ajax].
Ad revenue is what keeps this site running. Please disable your adblocker so we can continue to provide great content for readers like you!
The Morrocan dinked the ball past two defenders before firing the ball goalwards, but his strike somehow stayed out after cannoning off the upright.