Ajax chief of staff Erik ten Hag has hailed his team’s performance against Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-finals tie
The Dutch giants were held to a 1-1 draw to Serie A toppers at the Johan Cruyff Arena on Wednesday evening although the hosts dictated the rhythm of the game for most of the time.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s header just before the half-time whistle put the Bianconeri in front, but David Neres settled the score one minute inside the second half.
Erik ten Hag: “Jordi Cruyff (Johan’s son) praising our football? That is beautiful. The football at Ajax needs to capture the hearts of people around Europe, and in the whole world. That’s what we try to do.” pic.twitter.com/431eqbNFUX— AFC Ajax 💫 (@TheEuropeanLad) April 9, 2019
Having outplayed the reigning Italian holders, the 4-time Champions League winners are left with a bitter taste in the mouth, especially considering they conceded that goal from Juve’s only shot on target.
But, Erik ten Hag believes his team has a legitimate reason to hope for a positive outcome of the second leg, recalling Ajax’s display against Real Madrid at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Erik ten Hag: “We were brilliant on the ball tonight. It might have been a draw, but it’s still a result. Against Madrid we even lost 2-1 at home. We pressured them a lot tonight.” [veronica] pic.twitter.com/QwuUyLIS4B— AFC Ajax 💫 (@TheEuropeanLad) April 10, 2019
“A 1-1 draw in a home game is not exactly what we were hoping for, but it is still a good result,” the 49-year-old explained.
“The last time we lost 2-1 at home to Real Madrid, so everything is still alive for us.”
“In a lot of the phases of the game, we were better,” he added. “We were excellent in our transitions onto attack. Juventus found it hard to apply pressure on us because we kept the ball, we were patient and created chances.”