Ajax coach Erik Ten Hag was disappointed not to claim at least one point during their 1-0 defeat to Liverpool in Wednesday’s Champions League opener, speaking to Goal.
While Ajax squandered every opportunity that came their way during a frustrating night for the Dutch giants, it’s fair to say the only goal of the game at an echoing Johan Cruyff Arena was borne of serious misfortune.
Ajax were on top and looked clear favourites to break the deadlock heading towards half time.
But, in the blink of an eye, the always excellent Sadio Mane slalomed into the box and sliced a shot across the face of goal, only for Nicolas Tagliafico to produce an even worse slice – into his own net.
Davy Klaassen and Quincy Promes came close to finding an equaliser but, with Adrian silencing his critics with a couple of key saves, Ten Hag was left wondering what might have been.
“It would have been a big bonus if we had taken one or more points,” said the former Bayern Munich reserve coach.
“I think Liverpool were vulnerable. Unfortunately, we didn’t make the most of that.
“We were unlucky. We performed well collectively. We were convincing but that last one per cent was missing. We didn’t score even though we created many chances. That’s the story of this game, I think.”
Ten Hag added to Voetbal International: “We’ve brought Liverpool to the brink of collapse but we didn’t pull the trigger. You have to take advantage of the opportunities we have created.”
Liverpool were far from their bullish best in the Dutch capital but there were certainly positives for Jurgen Klopp to take.
The under-fire Joe Gomez recovered from a nervy start to suggest he could step up to the plate in Virgil van Dijk’s absence, while Fabinho once again looked a natural-born centre-half after dropping into defence, producing a stunning overhead-kick clearance on the goalline.
Liverpool’s trophies under Jurgen Klopp
UEFA Super Cup
FIFA Club World Cup