De Boer hails fighting spirit

Ajax coach Frank de Boer hailed his team's fighting spirit after Tuesday night's 2-1 Champions League win over Barcelona, but lamented the red card for Joel Veltman which rules the defender out of their crucial final Group H clash with AC Milan.

Last Updated: 27/11/13 at 11:30 Post Comment

Joel Veltman: Saw red against Barcelona

Joel Veltman: Saw red against Barcelona

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

The Eredivisie champions took a shock 2-0 half-time lead at the Amsterdam ArenA as both Thulani Serero and Danny Hoesen scored their first European goals.

Xavi scored a penalty after Veltman was sent off for a foul on Neymar early in the second period, but the hosts withstood fierce pressure through the remainder of the game.

The result, coupled with Milan's 3-0 success at Celtic in the other game in the pool, means the December 11 clash between the Rossoneri and Ajax will determine who qualifies alongside Barca for the last 16.

"This was a matter of battling, but also of quality," De Boer said.

"I said that we wanted to play our own game, and my players did that.

"We applied pressure and tried to play football. I think Barcelona did not expect that. It's a pity we ended with 10 men. The players and the fans fought to hold on to 2-1."

Ricardo van Rhijn's under-hit back-pass three minutes after the interval led to last man Veltman bringing down Neymar and, after the right-back was sent off, Xavi converted from 12 yards.

"It starts with that back-pass from Ricardo," De Boer said.

"But, after that, Joel must rely on his goalkeeper. (Former Ajax and Holland coach) Louis van Gaal used to say to us, 'please note, we have (former Ajax and Holland goalkeeper) Edwin van der Sar yet'.

"This is an expensive lesson for Veltman, because now he will not play against Milan. That was the only blemish (on the pitch) tonight."

An Ajax fan was taken to hospital after suffering "serious head injuries" towards the end of the first half. He fell around five metres from the stand behind the goal into the moat around the pitch.

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Transfer news: Roma say Chelsea target Mattia Destro is not for sale

Roma's president James Pallotta is adamant that Chelsea target Mattia Destro is not for sale.

QPR midfielder Alejandro Faurlin injures his cruciate for the third time

QPR midfielder Alejandro Faurlin has been ruled out for several months after injuring his cruciate ligament again.

Transfer news: Valencia bid for Manchester United's Tom Cleverley

Valencia have made a bid to sign Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley, according to Sky sources.

Mail Box

Ginger Pirlo? Don't Make Me Laugh...

A Sunderland fan in the mailbox is surprised by Jack Colback's call up to the England squad. Plus, thoughts on Welbeck and Liverpool's Champions League draw...

Don't Forget Chelsea Also Need A Striker

With Diego Costa struggling for fitness, one Chelsea fan pipes up in the mailbox to remind us that the Blues also need a striker. Plus, thoughts on Rooney as captain...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property