Sebastien Haller hits sixth Champions League goal as Ajax thrash Borussia Dortmund 4-0
AMSTERDAM: Sebastien Haller scored his sixth Champions League goal in three games as Ajax took firm control of their group with a ruthless display at home as they routed Borussia Dortmund 4-0 on Tuesday.
Ajax are on course for the last 16 with three wins in three European games and Haller remains the competition’s top scorer after netting their fourth goal of the night with a crisp header.
The Ivory Coast forward scored four goals against Sporting Lisbon on his stunning Champions League debut last month, then also hit the target against Besiktas.
The result sees the Dutch champions top Group C, three points ahead of Dortmund as both clubs came into the tie with two straight wins.
“We produced a fantastic performance and played some incredible football,” delighted Ajax coach Erik ten Hag told Amazon Prime.
“When two teams with this philosophy want to attack like that then it becomes an open shoot-out, which we won.”
Ajax dominated in Amsterdam thanks to an own goal by Dortmund captain Marco Reus and a superb strike by Daley Blind, which made it 2-0 at half-time.
Ajax’s Brazil winger Antony grabbed the hosts’ third by curling his shot into the corner before Haller’s header finished off the demolition of Dortmund.
“Ajax were simply the better team,” glum-faced Reus admitted after Dortmund’s heaviest Champions League defeat.
“The first goal was from my mistake, I misjudged the delivery.”
The German club rarely got out of their half despite efforts to get the ball to their star striker Erling Braut Haaland.
There were signs of what was to come when only brilliant timing by Mats Hummels blocked a shot by Antony, then Blind forced a great save from Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel.
The hosts took the lead after 11 minutes when Dusan Tadic fired in a free-kick and Reus watched in horror as his attempt to head clear saw the ball fly past Kobel into the Dortmund net.
The hosts doubled their lead when Haller laid the ball off to Blind who fired in his first Ajax goal for a year with 25 minutes gone.
Only a superb display by Kobel denied Ajax a bigger lead as they went into the half-time break 2-0 up.
Dortmund’s best chance came early in the second half when Haaland rattled the crossbar after Ajax goalkeeper Remko Pasveer parried his shot.
It was only a brief respite as Ajax grabbed their third goal approaching the hour mark when Antony found enough space to curl his shot into the top corner.
It summed up Dortmund’s night when Haaland finally had a clear chance in the area, only to be denied by Pasveer’s superb save.
It became a rout when Haller was left unmarked to head in Ajax’s fourth 18 minutes from time to delight the passionate home crowd in Amsterdam.
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