Lille 0-2 Ajax: Ziyech and Promes on target as Ten Hag's men go top

By Sports Desk November 27, 2019

Ajax relocated their Champions League swagger to go top of Group H with a 2-0 win over Lille.

Erik ten Hag's entertainers took a solitary point from their back-to-back meetings with Chelsea but Hakim Ziyech put them ahead early on at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

A hero of last season's unlikely run to the semi-finals, Ziyech's brilliant goal launched an outing where the Eredivisie champions were typically dazzling and vulnerable.

Lille's finishing let them down, however, with Jonathan Bamba and Jonathan Ikone the main culprits, before Quincy Promes made sure of victory.

Ajax's opener came after 94 seconds and in delightful fashion.

Wonderful one-touch passes from Sergino Dest and Donny van de Beek ended with Zakaria Labyad picking out skipper Dusan Tadic, whose lay-off allowed Ziyech to dispatch an unerring strike past Mike Maignan.

The goalscorer returned the favour when Tadic had a powerful angled effort saved in the 12th minute, while Victor Osimhen's theatrical tumble inside the Ajax area underlined Lille's early desperation.

Bamba tracked back diligently to make a vital interception as a lurking Dest hoped to put Ajax 2-0 up, but the Lille winger had a moment to forget in the 31st minute when he blazed over from six yards with the goal at his mercy.

Lille resumed on the front foot, only for Ikone to join Bamba by producing a horror miss.

Osimhen muscled past Perr Schuurs after Lisandro Martinez's poor header and cut back for Ikone to lift inexplicably beyond the crossbar with the outside of his right boot.

Martinez stepped out of defence with a composure belying his early second-half efforts and found Ziyech on the right to curl a cross towards Promes for a smart back-post finish.

Lille stuck gamely to their task, although Andre Onana's superb double save from Bamba and Yusuf Yazici ensured their endeavours ended without reward.

Ziyech was denied a deserved second by a VAR handball verdict as Ajax kept pushing and Van de Beek thudded a powerful effort against the post.

What does it mean? Advantage Ajax but all to play for

Chelsea and Valencia's earlier thrilling 2-2 draw at the Mestalla contributed to an ideal Wednesday for Ajax, who lead the way with 10 points from the Blues and Los Che on eight apiece. It means a draw with Valencia in Amsterdam next month will see them through. Lille only have pride to play for against Chelsea due to a solitary point from five matches.

Ziyech stars for Amsterdammers

Ten Hag will hope a grimacing Ziyech departing holding his arm five minutes from time was not on account of any serious problem. As is often the case when Ajax hit top gear, the Morocco forward was a delight. An over-enthusiastic fan invaded the pitch to embrace Ziyech towards the end of the second half and you could definitely see where the youngster was coming from.

Bamba and Ikone serve up video nasties

Lille were rarely able to exercise any control against supreme opponents, yet continued attacking with gusto. It made Bamba and Ikone's horrible misses all the more lamentable.

What's next

Ajax travel to FC Twente on Sunday, a day after Lille host Dijon in Ligue 1.

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