Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt admits his side struggled to deal with Fernando Llorente at times despite their 1-0 Champions League semi-final victory away at Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday night, while speaking to Ziggo Sport.
The Eredivisie leaders famously defeated Real Madrid and Juventus on home soil to set up a last-four meeting with Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs. And they claimed another superb win away from home in North London, Donny Van de Beek’s composed finish giving Ajax a potentially vital lead after the first-leg.
Tottenham struggled to create meaningful chances throughout the game as they slipped to a second successive defeat at their new stadium, the absence of Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son blunting their attack considerably.
Spanish target man Llorente did give Spurs an out-ball, however, and he held the ball up effectively throughout, albeit failing to really trouble visiting goalkeeper Andre Onana.
And De Ligt has pointed out that the former Juventus forward did cause some problems.
"You know they are going to show something. With the long ball to [Fernando] Llorente, it was difficult to put pressure on them,” the 19-year-old skipper said.
Pochettino changed Tottenham’s shape midway through the first-half, strengthening the midfield by bringing on Moussa Sissoko for the stricken centre-back Jan Vertonghen.
The Frenchman helped Spurs to get on the ball after a torrid first half hour and De Ligt adds that he too gave a victorious Ajax side plenty to ponder.
“Moussa Sissoko did provide some dynamic, we had a hard time with that.”
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