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UEFA Champions League
December 7, 2011
• Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam
Referee: Manuel Jorge Neves Moreira de Sousa
• Attendance: 51557
José Callejón 14', 90'+
G. Higuaín 41'
Shots on Target
Thanks for joining me, Daniel Quinton-Navarro, for tonight's match in what has been a truly remarkable evening of football. Keep it Goal.com for all you football needs, ta ta.
On a night that needed a seven goal swing in favour of Lyon over Ajax to see the French side progress at the expense of Frank de Boer's side; it is incredibly the Dutch champions who are out of the Champions League after a 3-0 loss to Madrid, paired with Lyon's 7-1 victory in Croatia. Who'd have thought it?!?
90' + 3'
Final whistle is blown. AJAX ARE OUT OF THE UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE.
90' + 2'
Assist Xabi Alonso
90' + 2'
Goal José Callejón
90' + 2'
3-0!!! CALLEJON!!! That is, now, that. Xabi Alonso uses the outside of his right boot to send Callejon in behind the Ajax defence, he touches the ball around the onrushing 'keeper before slotting the ball home. Incredible scenes.
90' + 1'
Eriksen whips it over the wall but it lacks any pace and Adan moves across his goal to dive low to his right and keep hold of the ball. Poor, and that should be that.
Ajax have a free-kick on the edge of the area after Sulejmani is felled by Albiol and this could be it.....
Coentrao digs out a deep cross which finds Altintop but the midfielder is off balance and his shot is side footed over the bar.
Bulykin is found by a superb cross in the area and he has a chance to set up a frantic finish only to head against the back of Albiol and the ball drops harmlessly clear.
Amazingly, Madrid are finishing on the front foot tonight spreading the ball around with ease. Even so, the home fans are singing as if they are through, great support here.
Ebecilio, striker, makes a last ditch challenge in the Ajax area on Callejon with Madrid threatening a third goal in Holland.
Van der Wiel tries to play a through ball but it is easily read by Mendes who coolly plays the ball out of defence under no pressure, kick starting a Madrid attack along the way.
Predicament for Ajax here, they are committing players in attack but Madrid are able to come at them on the break with Higuain leading the charge. Cannot lose another goal, but have to find a goal at the same time...difficult balance to get right.
The ball is up the wrong end, if you are an Ajax fan, as Higuain teases the defenders before playing it back to safety. Madrid just playing it around comfortably at the moment, but when they do finally make the mistake Ajax can't steal the ball away, and so it continues.
Neat stuff from Ajax, as Eriksen gives the ball to Klaassen before carrying on his run into the area which the substitute tries to find with a chipped pass but Adan is out quickly to collect the bouncing ball. Time is running out for the Dutch champions.
Worse news reaching the Ajax camp, with the mood sombre in the Amsterdam ArenA, Lyon have scored a seventh meaning the Dutch side need to score two or pray for a remarkable Dinamo recovery Croatia.
Adan comes well off his line to collect a cross but he ends up flapping at it and Klaaseen, with pretty much his first touch, tries to lift the ball over the 'keeper but it is a poor effort and the chance goes.
Ball is deep in Madrid territory, but also in the Spanish giants possession. Ajax pressurise well and force Coentrao to play the ball long giving the Dutch side the chance to come again.
15 minutes for Ajax to turn this one around as they introduce Bulykin to the match in pursuit of that vital goal that will get them through.
Adan is forced into another save after a corner kick isn't cleared properly by Madrid but Pedro Mendes manages to block the shot on goal and Adan is able to keep the shot out.
DINAMO ZAGREB 1-6 LYON! Incredible news from Croatia, look away now Ajax fans! As it stands, unbelievably Ajax are OUT of the Champions League as it stands! The French side needed a seven goal swing to get through tonight, and they've got it.....
Vermeer is out well and clutches the ball in the air as he tries to launch a quick Ajax counter which comes to nothing.
Madrid win a free-kick after Van der Wiel clashes with Callejon on the near side; decent chance this one and Altintop is the one to take the set-piece.
Madrid have used all three of their substitutes, and Higuain is still on the pitch - a clever man would bet that the Argentine won't be starting against Barcelona.
Xabi Alonso does the same for Real Madrid from a dead ball situation but his bending, and dipping effort is a fraction off target. Score remains 2-0, as Pedro Mendes comes on for Mourinho's men to partner Varane in defence.
Eriksen with a shot from range once again and it is creeping inside the post but Adan is across well and manages to palm the ball away to safety, decent hit that one.
Ajax are industrious in defence and look to launch a quick counter but Albiol comes across well to half clear the ball but the Dutch side can come again here.
Loose pass gifts the ball to Madrid, and with Xabi Alonso on the pitch they can break but with only Higuain forward they opt to hold the ball back and frustrate the home side instead.
Adan is tested, it is a tame effort from Ebecilio, but even so is on target for the home side. Madrid content with the match so far this half.
Ajax are enjoying a sustained period of possession here but they aren't troubling the Madrid defence so they look to switch the play but the pass isn't anywhere near good enough and Madrid with the ball as a result.
The Dutch side are working hard here as every man is doing their job, both in attack and defence.
Ajax have a free-kick on the near touchline which Janssen swings across, and he sends it deep but Adan watches it all the way as it goes behind for a goalkick.
Yellow Card Arbeloa
GRANERO! Madrid venture into Ajax's half for what seems the first time since the break and immediately test Vermeer. The ball falls to the Madrid midfielder who crashes an effort at goal but the Ajax stopper manages to palm the ball away.
Eriksen combines with Lodeiro brilliantly inside the penalty area but the Danish internationals return pass is a tad heavy and Adan is quickly out to get jump on top of the ball.
Ajax, however, are looking worth a goal here with decent passing between them but at the moment it is infront of the Madrid defence who are happy to see the Dutch side keep it there.
Lyon grab a fourth in Croatia!!!! Gomis completes his hat-trick, and it is three goals in five second-half minutes. Tense.
SULEJMANI HITS THE WOODWORK!!! Ajax get a break following Adan's poor clearance and the ball is worked to the striker who bends a delicious shot over the top of the 'keeper but watches in anguish and his effort comes back off the bar.
DINAMO ZAGREB - LYON UPDATE: Lyon have grabbed a second goal through Gonalons, and then quickly after they have a third courteous of Gomis. 3-1, so with the goal swing needing to be seven, it is currently four. Any nervy Ajax fans?
Eriksen takes the ball brilliantly on his chest whilst continuing to move forward but his second touch is a tad heavy giving Albiol the chance to toe poke the ball to Coentrao.
VERTONGHEN! The Ajax captain is left unmarked, less than six yards out but he can't direct his header on target, inside nodding wide of the post. Unbelievable miss!
It is infact Janssen who hits it but he can't lift it over the wall and it deflects behind the goal for a corner kick, and the same man will trudge over to swing this one across into the danger zone.
Ajax with a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the area after Albiol goes in rashly, got the ball but he also got the man according to the referee. Decent position this, and it looks like Vertonghen is going to hit it.
We are underway, and Ajax start on the front foot and it is that similar outlet Van der Wiel who is leading the attack.
Bob Marley's "Don't Worry" song is being played over the sound system in Holland, with Ajax's position as second in Group D may come under pressure in this second half...couldn't be more relevant.
Players are back out at the Amsterdam Arena, over the next 45 minutes it'll be determined who makes the knockout stages....
From Sohaib Arshad Butt on Twitter: "Goalz shud hv stood. Real riding their luck before the clasico. A madrid fan beleiving to crush barcelona this time around" That said Clasico can be followed here, LIVE on Goal.com as we bring you extensive coverage from the Bernabeu.
Do you want a quick round-up of the Champions League tonight? Go on then, Manchester City are through as it stands with David Silva's goal giving them a 1-0 lead over Bayern and Napoli failing to win. The red half of Manchester, however, are crashing out of Europe after Streller has given Basel a 1-0 lead in Switzerland and will be going through alongside Benfica. All games in Group B are goalless, boring!
Kaka who was involved in Madrid's opener may drop to the bench on Saturday night, but ajbayby on Twitter said about his inclusion: "I'm glad to see Kaka and Arbeloa in the line up...#HalaMadrid!!!"
DINAMO ZAGREB vs. LYON UPDATE: Half-time in Croatia and the score is 1-1, despite the home side being reduced to ten-men, they took the lead through Kovacic only for the French outfit to equalise on the stroke of half-time through Gomis.
Share your thoughts on the match, via twitter - @dquintonnavarro is all you need to get involved; it's that easy!
Quite a half, with both side's positive of reaching the last 16 there was attacking football on show but it was Madrid who profited with Callejon and Higuain giving them a two goal advantage at the break - it could easily read 2-2 however, after Ajax saw two legitimate goals disallowed.
With little stoppage time to be played the referee brings the first-half to a close, inevitably boos sound around the Amsterdam ArenA with the Dutch fans voicing their views of the officials performance thus far.
Ajax with a free-kick in a dangerous position is wasted by Eriksen when he delivers it too close to Adan who holds onto the ball easily.
As it stands: Ajax are still through, as Lyon are drawing against Zagreb in the other game but by going 2-0 behind if the French side score five then the Dutch side are out....sounds unlikely, but Zagreb have just been down to ten-men.
Assist Karim Benzema
Goal Gonzalo Higuaín
GOAL! GOAL! HIGUAIN DOUBLES MADRID'S LEAD!!! Benzema with a wonderful ball across the pitch into the path of Gonzalo Higuain who takes a touch to bring the ball down, another to get it out of his feet and a third to hammer it past Vermeer. Ajax 0-2 Real Madrid. Just for the record, the Argentine was onside by a good few yards.
Real Madrid get on the ball, with Mourinho ushering his side to keep the ball by bringing his clutched hands to his chest, and the Spanish side to exactly that until Albiol tries to launch the ball forward but it is too heavy and goes behind for an Ajax goalkick.
Ajax try to make amends for the fact that they are still behind and come again at the Madrid defence but Albiol is across well to snuff out the danger with Sulejmani bearing down on him.
Yellow Card Jan Vertonghen
DISALLOWED GOAL NUMBER TWO!!!!! It's at the same end, Anita strikes the ball from the edge of the area which deflects off Sulejmani and past Adan in the Madrid goal.....all the Ajax players look to the official and their is the flag once again. Was it offside, no way, not at all, clearly onside, not even debatable; two offside decisions, two wrong decision. Home side are fuming.
Frank de Boer will be happier with his team in the last ten minutes as they have seen more of the ball and troubled Madrid in the process.
Strange one, Coentrao jumps for the ball, meets it with his head before crashing to the floor via Sulejmani despite the Portugal International falling onto the Ajax man. Free-kick given to Madrid, as I said, strange.
INCREDIBLE DECISION! Lodeiro is clearly onside when Van der Wiel's shot has Adan in all shorts of trouble, spilling the ball into the path of the Ajax striker who nods into an empty net only to see the assistant's flag raised. Still 1-0. Talking point.
Beautiful stuff from Ajax, Van der Wiel overlapping is seen brilliantly and the full-back puts in a low cross which Adan cannot reach with Lodeiro the only striker in the box as the ball goes through to other side.
Adan misjudges the flight of the ball but the Madrid stopper is still able to palm it away without any danger.
Ajax win the ball in the middle of the pitch with Sahin caught after Madrid were looking to escape from a tight space and the Dutch side move up the field with a decent array of passing earning a corner which Eriksen is going to swing across.
A long shot comes in from Eriksen but it is comfortable enough for Adan who dives low to his left and hugs the ball to his chest. Easy for the Madrid No. 2.
Ajax counter at pace at Sulejmani picks the ball up on the edge of the area before the crowd are jeering for a foul on the striker, nothing doing says the referee.
BENZEMA! Truly wonderful stuff from the Frenchman as he takes the ball down on the chest before shrugging off one defender and then beating Vertonghen with a neat step over before firing straight at Vermeer in the Ajax goal.
Ebecilio comes up against Arbeloa inside the penatly area and the Spanish defender goes to ground but makes a wonderful challenge to prevent the Ajax striker from progressing his run.
Cross comes in from the right courteous of Loderio's boot but it was a tad high for everyone and goes through untouched as a result.
The home side wonderfully work the ball out of defence before misplacing a pass in the final third when they were threatening leaving Sulejmani & Co. frustrated.
Leisurely pace to this match as Real Madrid are happy to keep hold of the ball and Ajax are letting them do exactly that at the moment.
Higuain is released down the right flank and he puts it across towards Benzema but Vertonghen was across to send the ball out for a corner kick that comes to nothing. Class defending from the big man that was.
Adan is alert after Ebecilio's shot is deflected into a dangerous zone around the penalty spot but the 'keeper dives to punch the ball away.
Van der Wiel comes forward from right-back and cuts inside, tries to work it back onto his favoured right-foot but Sahin is tight to him so the Dutchman moves it back onto his left before striking the ball wildly over the top of the bar.
Ajax are looking to stead themselves here and they stroke the ball around, and Eriksen finds space in the "hole" but has to delay his pass because all three of Ajax's frontmen had strayed offside.
Goal José Callejón
GOAL! GOAL! REAL MADRID LEAD! A thing of beauty that was, Jose Callejon bends his run brilliantly to stay onside to latch onto Kaka's chipped pass before side-footing the ball between Vermeer's legs to give Madrid the lead.
Ajax break quickly and it is four against three in Madrid's favour but Lodeiro pass doesn't find Sulemani and the Spanish side clear comfortably.
Both teams have settled into this match without creating a clear chance as of yet, Madrid are seeing more of the ball but even so the Dutch side do look capable of threatening the Spanish side's defence.
Madrid play it out of defence well with Coentrao, Sahin and Granero combining before the full-back sends it long to Higuain but Coentrao's pass isn't accurate enough.
Ajax do well to work a decent attacking position but the ball runs through to the 'keeper Adan who is alert to a chance up the other end and sends Higuain on his way but Anita was alert to the danger and mopped up well.
Higuain combines with Benzema for the first time and space opens up for the Frenchman, unfortunately his strike partners pass was a fraction behind him and he couldn't take the ball in his stride allowing Vertonghen to clear.
Mistake from Madrid at the back, and Ebecilio latches on to a loose ball and has a shot blocked by a recovering Granero after the defenders pass had caught Raul Albiol unawares of what was around him.
Callejon does well on the near touch line to take the ball out of the air but Anita is quickly to him and forces the former Espanyol man back to his defenders.
Ajax enjoy a bit of possession as Van der Wiel sprints up the right-hand flank but his run is ignored Enoh who opts to come back inside.
Nuri Sahin, sat in front of the back four has seen a fair amount of the ball in the early stages here looking to usher Madrid forward as Ajax are happy to stand off their opponents until they cross the half way line.
Real Madrid, stripped in their full black kit, get us underway kicking from left-to-right and begin by patiently playing it around their defensive lines.
There is the magical rendition of the Champions League anthem as the sides, and fans respect it as if it were their national anthem; although I'm sure it is to some. Formalities, before a highly anticipated 90 minutes.
What are your thoughts, are Benzema and Higuain competing for a place in the Starting XI in el Clasico on Saturday night? Tweet to get involved, @dquintonnavarro.
With the players in the tunnel at the Amsterdam ArenA, the atmosphere being generated by the Dutch faithful is tremendous. Goals, goals, goals tonight, here's hoping.
FACT: Real Madrid are just one win shy of their club record of 15 consecutive victories in all competitions, set in 1960-61.
Christian Eriksen, on the radar of several top European clubs - AC MIlan, Barcelona & Liverpool - will be a player to watch tonight for the home side, along with the array of attacking talent for Madrid in the shape of Benzema, Higuain and Kaka.
Frank de Boer opts to field his strongest side knowing a point will guarantee them a spot in the Round of 16, whilst Mourinho bring in the changes ahead of Saturday's Clasico. What do you make of the starting line-ups, tweet @dquintonnavarro to share your thoughts.
REAL MADRID STARTING XI: Adan; Arbeloa, Albiol, Varane, Coentrao; Sahin; Cellejon, Granero; Kaka; Higuain, Benzema. Substitutes: Tomas Mejias, Pedro Mendes, Ozil, Di Maria, Xabi Alonso, Altintop, Jese Rodriguez.
AJAX STARTING XI: Vermeer; Van der Wiel, Blind, Vertonghen, Anita; Enoh, Eriksen, Janssen; Sulejmani, Lodeiro, Ebecilio. Substitutes: Cillessen; Ligeon, Van Rhijn, Serero, Bulykin, Klaassen, Ozbiliz.
TEAM NEWS: Gonzalo Higuain & Karim Benzema start for Madrid; Lonrenzo Ebecilio in for Derk Boerrigter.
As it stands; Jose Mourinho's men are through as group winners, even if they are defeated tonight, whilst Ajax require a point to progress to the knockout stages. French side Lyon can reach the last 16 in place of Frank de Boer's side.
Welcome, Daniel Quinton-Navarro here, and I will be bringing you Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Champions League tie between Dutch champions Ajax and Real Madrid from the Amsterdam ArenA.
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