Published on :
At the Pierre-Mauroy stadium, Ajax Amsterdam won their round of 16 first leg of the Europa League against the last French representative in competition, Losc (1-2). After having long lacked realism, the Ajacids overturned the table at the end of the match.
Mastiffs can bite their fingers. Two years after a double humiliation in the Champions League, Lille came very close to winning their duel at Ajax Amsterdam in the Europa League, Thursday, February 18. Timothy Weah opened the scoring against the run of the game, but Ajax Amsterdam found their way to the goal thanks to a penalty from Tadic and a goal from Brobbey.
Lille had nevertheless entered its 16e final. The Slovakian referee of the match, Ivan Kruzliak, could even have awarded a penalty early in the match for a contentious contact on Jonathan David (5e). The speed of wingers Weah and Bamba, helped by prominent Jonathan David and Yusuf Yazici, posed problems for the Amsterdam defense at the start of the match.
However, the first strike on target is to the credit of Ajax. A strike from Antony at the entrance to the Lille area is easily picked up by Maignan, while the Dutch gradually regain the ascendancy by breaking the Lille lines. The Lille doorman saves his family again thanks to an exit at Antony’s feet a few moments later (28e).
Le Losc leaves the ball
One statistic sums up the difficulties of Losc: at the break, the Ajacides had the ball 69% of the time.
Did Christophe Gatlhier find the words in the locker room? Still, on the return to the lawn, the Mastiffs manage to better resist the pressure of Ajax and launch offensives thanks to a very restless Timothy Weah. He failed to be the source of an opening scoring when, after making the difference on his right side, he sent a low center. Sketelenburg is beaten but David cannot resume (53e).
But the domination, although sterile, remains ajacid but without concretization. The ball refuses to cross the Lille goal line. Neres misses the inevitable four meters from the cage of Maignan, after a shift of Klaassen in front of the Lille goalkeeper. The absence of Sébastien Haller, the Ivorian striker recruited at the gold price this winter but not authorized to play in the Europa League for an administrative error, is sorely felt.
A lack of realism that will pay for a defensive error: under pressure from Celik, Tagliafico must make a back pass to his goalkeeper. Timothy Weah intercepts and deceives Sketelenburg from a small bridge (72e, 1-0).
A reversal at the end of the match
A few minutes from the end of regulation time, Tagliafico tries to be forgiven by causing a penalty. Despite the Lille protests, the VAR confirms the referee’s decision and Tadic transforms with a perfect counter-foot (87e, 1-1). Then, Brobbey doubled the bet, perfectly launched by Klaassen in the axis (89e, 1-2).
A very cruel end to the game but quite logical for the Mastiffs, who will now have to achieve a huge feat in Amsterdam in a week to see the round of 16.