Ajax coach Ten Hag praises his lions after win at Spurs

Ajax claimed another big Champions League victory as they defeated Tottenham Hotspur in their semi-final first leg, disregarding the financial disparities between the two sides to put one foot firmly in the final.

"The point is that we arrive where we are now because we were a team and we are going to be a team", he said.

All eyes will be on Pochettino's men to see if they can turn it round in Amsterdam and book a place in the Champions League final in Madrid.

Spurs, at this stage of the competition for the first time in over half a century, were overwhelmed in the opening stages and fortunate that Ajax's intricate passing and movement only resulted in the one goal.

They have won many fans with their attractive style of play, with a young side that contains the likes of Frenkie De Jong and Matthijs De Ligt, who are both expected to be sold in the summer. "You have to stay still and do exactly what you are told" and it remains a hard issue to deal with when players are keen to continue.

The midfielder played a one two and had the option to square the ball to David Neres, but he made a decision to go for goal instead, with Lloris forced into a good save at his near post.

Striker Harry Kane headlines a lengthy injury list also including Erik Lamela and Harry Winks, while forward Son Heung Min is suspended.

And Pochettino took responsibility for Spurs' showing in the first half, when midfielder Van de Beek scored the only goal on 15 minutes.

The Evening Standard's chief soccer correspondent James Olley said the player "could hardly stand up" as he was helped off the pitch.

The defender has enjoyed a stellar Champions League campaign, turning in one of Spurs' best performances of the season in the last 16 against Dortmund.

Pochettino conceded he had blundered with his game-plan, but the Tottenham manager was also angry with the lethargic way his players started the club's first European Cup semi-final for 57 years.

"We are alive, we're only 1-0 down, we need to believe".

The second half was quieter than the first, but Lucas Moura did force Andre Onana into a save with a header before Dele Alli missed the target with his own effort.

"We were under-par, we didn't play our best at all", Eriksen, who played for Ajax between 2010 and 2013, told BT Sport .

A head injury to Jan Vertonghen forced the Spurs boss to change things before the break, allowing for the introduction of Moussa Sissoko to beef up the midfield and switch to a 4-4-2. But now he is okay he is walking away and more relaxed. The Brazilian's left-footed chance beat a flat-footed Lloris, but it bounced off the far post, staying out and keeping the score at 1-0.

  • Julie Sanders


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