Ajax star Ziyech eases injury fears after Lille masterclass

By Sports Desk November 27, 2019

Ajax and Morocco favourite Hakim Ziyech does not believe the arm injury he sustained during the closing stages of Wednesday's 2-0 win over Lille is serious.

Erik ten Hag's side moved to the top of Champions League Group H with a match to play after a superb display at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, where Ziyech crowned a brilliant team move to open the scoring inside two minutes.

He turned provider with an inch-perfect cross to set up Quincy Promes after half-time and also had a goal disallowed for handball after a VAR review.

That incident appeared to discomfort Ziyech before he made way in the 85th minute, but the 26-year-old offered an upbeat assessment when he spoke to Veronica TV after the match.

"My arm is still sore and is difficult to lift it up. I'll just have to see how it goes," he said.

"I banged it into the defender, and I also got the ball smashed into it, but it should be okay."

On Ajax's performance, Ziyech added: "What a great start, because our first attack resulted in a goal. But after that we got a bit sloppy.

"They were playing a long-ball game, and their centre forward was causing us some problems.

"But they only had a couple of big chances and otherwise we controlled the game. We definitely deserved to win.

"I know where Quincy is going, and I try to put in crosses that are impossible to defend against. And his finish was also fantastic.

"We know each other so well. We don't even need to talk to each other on the pitch. We'll go out to win the final game, that's why we play football."

Qualification is now firmly in Ajax's hands when they host Valencia next month, the Eredivisie leaders boasting 10 points to the LaLiga outfit's eight.

Los Che battled to a thrilling 2-2 draw against Chelsea - who are also on eight points and next face a Lille side with only pride to play for.

"Unfortunately we didn't score when we were on top," said Lille head coach Christophe Galtier, who saw Jonathan Bamba and Jonathan Ikone miss glorious chances either side of half-time.   

"In all five games, we've lacked a clinical streak and in this beautiful but cruel competition we were punished for it."

Those openings were noted as a cause for concern by Ajax boss Ten Hag.

"We defended rather well but we gave them too many chances by allowing them too much space in which to play," he said, as quoted by UEFA.com.

"It's something we still need to work on. Otherwise, it was a fully deserved win. We scored two great goals and could have had more.

"The win reflects our domination, even though our opponents had opportunities, which is normal at this level. We were almost perfect tactically."

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    - Staying at Camp Nou and Barcelona apparently have interest in two players from Tottenham. The Daily Star says Barca want Ryan Sessegnon and Tanguy Ndombele. However, it reports Spurs will reject all offers for Sessegnon this close season.

    - Philippe Coutinho's future remains unclear. Mundo Deportivo reports the playmaker, who is on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona until the end of the season, will not decide his future until after the Champions League next month.

    - Plenty of talk continues to surround Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is coming out of contract at the Premier League club next year. The Daily Star reports the forward will sign a contract extension with Arsenal – if no other club makes an official approach.

    - After just two goals in 25 games for Real Madrid, Luka Jovic seems set for an exit. According to Mundo Deportivo, Juventus, Inter, Chelsea, Leicester City, Milan and Napoli are all considering moves for the forward.

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