Manager Alfred Schreuder rued Ajax’s missed first-half chances in their loss to Liverpool.
The Dutch champions were knocked out of the Champions League after a 3-0 defeat to the Reds at the Johan Cruyff Stadium last night.
Ajax had their opportunities while the game was goalless but failed to take them. Steven Berghuis struck the post in just the second minute before Dusan Tadic has an effort blocked by Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Mo Salah punished those misses when he opened the scoring for Jurgen Klopp’s side shortly before the interval. Then just seven minutes into the second period, Darwin Nunez and Harvey Elliott killed off the game for Liverpool.
Speaking to Dutch TV station RTL 7 (via voetbalzone.net), Schreuder said: “I think we played a great first half, certainly the first 40 minutes.
“We just get two, three hundred percent chances. “You have to make it one of them, especially at this level. Then of course the match will be easier. They will make the 0-1 before half-time. We indicated at half-time that it went quite well.
“Immediately after the break we give away a corner unnecessarily, and it goes in. Then of course it will be difficult against such a Liverpool.”
“You don’t get many chances against a team like that, especially if it’s already 0-2. Then Liverpool don’t give much away. We still tried to play out chances, but at 0-3 you could see that it was done.”
Despite Ajax only losing 2-1 against Liverpool at Anfield, with Joel Matip scoring in the closing stages, Schreuder reckons his side performed ‘much better’ at the Johan Cruyff Stadium.
“Until the 0-1 Liverpool had no chance,” he added. “We learned from the away game, when we gave away too much space. Today we could actually just lead 2-0 at half-time. They were much more efficient and then you also see their class. We did much better than at Anfield, but in the end it was not enough.”