Cruyff's Ajax philosophy sank Manchester City, says Alderweireld

The 23-year-old lauded the team's defined style of play and attributed their victory over Roberto Mancini's side to the squad's belief in their regimented principles

Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld believes the footballing philosophy embedded in the club from Johan Cruyff‘s time there helped his side beat Manchester City in their Champions League encounter.

Roberto Mancini's charges needed a positive result from the game but were out-played by the Dutch side and succumbed to a 3-1 loss, and Alderweireld has hailed Ajax’s style of play as responsible for the result.

"I didn't have the feeling that it would be a game like Real Madrid, because we just played very well," Alderweireld told reporters.

"We came behind, but we didn't give anything away until then. It was important that we picked up the pace again.

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"The equaliser was a mental breaking point and a big shock for City. They didn't expect that. After the 2-1 you saw that they became more stressful and then we also made the 3-1. Of course we were a bit lucky with the goal of Eriksen, but I think we're allowed to have some. With that kind of scoreline you know you have to land it."

"I think City aren't used to playing against a team that plays like us. If we would just kick and rush we would have never won this game. They are too strong for that. But if you play like we did, they suffer from it. The idea that the club has, the trainer has and of course Johan Cruyff has - that idea won tonight."

"Of course you will lose sometimes, eventually this is the way to compete with a team like Manchester City. Real Madrid turned out to be a step too far, but we showed tonight what we're capable of.

"This wasn't an accident. That's when you score three lucky goals and can't play your own style. We showed quality today, because we won against Man City that had to win and started with their best players."

Denmark international Christian Eriksen - who snubbed the advances of the English side during the summer - was instrumental in the victory, scoring the team's third goal, and praised the system and subsequent installation as a 'false' No.9.

He added: "Of course it was fun. I'm not there for battling with the defenders, but to drop down to the midfield.

"Against English sides you always create space when you play 4-3-3. That's why we could play our own football.

"We had more time but it was still difficult. In Manchester it is going to be a lot more difficult, but I hope we can play better as well over there."