'Lessons about how football should be played': Ajax praised as remarkable UCL run continues vs Spurs
Prior to Tuesday's first leg Ajax boss Erik ten Hag dismissed Mauricio Pochettino's suggestions that Tottenham would be at a disadvantage going into the match, given the fact that the Amsterdam side's schedule afforded them more time to prepare.Also on rt.com Assured Ajax beat tame Spurs to take control of Champions League semi-final
He offered a blunt repudiation, saying: "There are always differing circumstances. We play in the Eredivisie and we have €10 million that we get from TV and Tottenham gets much more.
"Is that unfair for us? Those are the circumstances. Everybody has different circumstances. You just have to deal with them. That is what we do."
After 90 plus minutes of football inside the newly-built Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, it was clear which of the two sides handled the situation better.
Ajax's young side began the game at pace, leaving a Spurs side distinctly lacking in intensity trailing in their wake. Their ambitious style of play was suitably rewarded by a Donny Van de Beek goal inside the first half, as he took advantage of a lazy Tottenham offside line to fire home in acres of space.Also on rt.com 'How was Vertonghen allowed back on?!': Uproar as Spurs defender tries to play on after head injury
Indeed, a Tottenham side shorn of their two primary scoring outlets in Harry Kane and Son Heung-min (and featuring several Ajax old boys in its ranks) appeared second best throughout to the Eredivisie side assembled at a fraction of the cost - and as you may expect, Twitter has been keen to point that out.
2 years ago Ajax and Man Utd played in the Europa League final.2 years later, Ajax is in the semi-finals of the Champions League and Manchester United are fighting for a spot in Europa League.#TOTAJApic.twitter.com/q3HxVLecxq— MaryAnne Wangui (@MaryAnnWanguiKE) April 30, 2019
Looking at Ajax youngsters and rejects this season in UCL, you have to admit money is not the ultimate motivator in football. Man United stars are highly paid but they can't even get a draw against this Dutch side NOW.@Elijahkyama@dhajidi@Felife07@ERlCMUFC#totaja#UCLpic.twitter.com/v85oRTivzp— Sir John🇰🇪 (@MKJohn254) April 30, 2019
The pair will return for the second leg next Wednesday in Amsterdam, with the Dutch looking good for a spot in June's final in Madrid.