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Dublin: 3°C Thursday 15 April 2021

Ajax get their first win in Liverpool's Group D while Marseille match unwanted CL record

Porto stayed in touch with Manchester City by inflicting a 12th-straight Champions League defeat on the competition’s inaugural winners.

Ajax's Antony Matheus (L) and Edson Alvarez.
Ajax's Antony Matheus (L) and Edson Alvarez.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

Midtjylland 1

Ajax 2

AJAX WON THEIR first Champions League match of the season on Tuesday after coming out on top 2-1 in a tight Group D contest at Midtjylland.

Antony’s first-minute strike and a free-kick from captain Dusan Tadic, who had been expected to miss the match in Denmark following a positive coronavirus test alongside three other key players, were just about enough to see Erik ten Hag’s side through.

The Dutch giants move up to second in their group, level on four points with third-placed Atalanta but five behind leaders Liverpool after they strolled to a 5-0 win in Bergamo.

Dutch media reported on Monday that Tadic, goalkeeper Andre Onana and midfielders Davy Klaassen and Ryan Gravenberch would all be absent but the quartet made the trip to Denmark.

Three of the four started in Herning and Tadic was key to Ajax’s win, setting up Antony’s opener just seconds after kick-off before thrashing home a 13th-minute free-kick from close range after Midtjylland goalkeeper Mikkel Andersen collected a back pass inside his own area.

Anders Dreyer pulled one back in the 18th minute when he cut inside from the right and beat Onana at his near post with a powerful shot.

Antony thought he had restored the away side’s two-goal lead when he slipped a lovely finish past Andersen from a tight angle but the goal was chalked off for offside after a VAR check.

That setback didn’t stop Ajax from earning a win that gives them an advantage in the group going into the fourth round of matches later this month, when they host bottom side Midtjylland in Amsterdam while Atalanta have to travel to Anfield to face Liverpool again.

Porto 3

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Marseille 0

champions-league-fc-porto-vs-marseille Luis Diaz scores for Porto against Marseille. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images
In Manchester City’s Group C, Marseille matched the longest losing streak in Uefa Champions League history with their 3-0 defeat away to Porto in Portugal on Tuesday.

The French club, who won the inaugural edition of the Champions League in 1993, have now lost 12 consecutive matches in the competition to equal the mark set by Belgian side Anderlecht between 2003 and 2005.

Moussa Marega gave Porto an early lead behind closed doors at the Estadio do Dragao before Dimitri Payet blazed a penalty over for Marseille.

He was made to pay as Sergio Oliveira scored from the spot to make it 2-0 for Porto before the half-hour mark and the Colombian Luis Diaz sealed the win for the home side with a fabulous third in the second half.

Marseille, who are coached by the former Porto boss Andre Villas-Boas, are still without a point after three games in Group C, having also lost away to Olympiakos (1-0) and at home to Manchester City (3-0).

They lost their last three matches in the 2011/12 competition, although they did make it to the quarter-finals in that campaign.

Then they lost all six group games in the 2013/14 season before returning to Europe’s elite club competition this season after a seven-year absence.

© – AFP, 2020

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