Bayern Munich succumbed to their third winless game on the bounce as they played out a 1-1 draw against Ajax in the Champions League. The Bavarian giants made a quick start to the game with the opening goal coming in the fourth minute through a Mats Hummels header but they were pegged back at the midway stage of the first half after a fine strike from Noussair Mazraoui. Thereafter, both teams had opportunities to find the scoresheet but Bayern may consider themselves fortunate to have come against an Ajax side, who were rather hapless with their final product on the day.
Two things we learned:
Bayern Munich’s being outsmarted in their game: The German champions have often adopted an attacking approach to exhibit their dominance and this has largely worked out with the opposition opting to generally defend in such situations. However, of late, the likes of Augsburg and Hertha Berlin have managed to outwit Bayern by taking them on their own and this was quite the trend with Ajax, who attained more shots on target than the hosts. The Dutch heavyweights could have celebrated a famous win right at the end but Lasse Schone’s long-range effort was wonderfully intercepted by Manuel Neuer. Bayern’s scoring form has also become a concern with just two goals from the three matches across all competitions.
Ajax proving their mettle in the Champions League: The Dutch giants have looked a distant team from that which was regularly competing for European honours but they have certainly made progress despite the frequent departure of big-name players. Against Bayern, Hakim Ziyech, in particular, was a constant menace for the Bayern backline on different occasions and the Moroccan could have bagged himself at least an assist on any other day barring Neuer’s heroics between the sticks. With the Bayern stalemate, Ajax are leading their Champions League group on goal difference and they have a genuine chance of reaching the knockouts, should they have the better of Benfica in the double-header following the international break.
Image – Getty