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Ajax showing pleases Babel

Ajax forward Ryan Babel believes the Dutch champions made a "little statement" to the rest of Europe in Manchester on Tuesday night.

Last Updated: 07/11/12 at 16:17 Post Comment

Ryan Babel: Performances against Premier League champions have made a statement

Ryan Babel: Performances against Premier League champions have made a statement

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The Amsterdam club have revived their Champions League campaign, after losing their opening two Group D matches, by taking four points from back-to-back games against City.

Ajax, boasting a core of homegrown players, won 3-1 in the Dutch capital a fortnight ago, and then claimed a credable 2-2 draw against the expensively-assembled Premier League winners at the Etihad Stadium.

They still face a tough task to qualify from a group that also includes Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, but they are firmly in contention ahead of remaining games against the Spanish and German sides.

Former Liverpool winger Babel said: "It was a statement to the other teams.

"We have to analyse what the gameplan will be for the next two games but I think these two games will give us confidence.

"We have to take it step by step but I think we made a little statement."

Ajax led 2-0 at Eastlands after two goals from Siem de Jong inside the opening 17 minutes.

Yaya Toure pulled one back soon after and City levelled 16 minutes from time through Sergio Aguero.

De Jong tested City goalkeeper Joe Hart twice in the second half but Ajax were fortunate to come through a frantic finish.

Aguero had a second goal disallowed for a marginal offside call on Aleksandar Kolarov after 88 minutes, and Mario Balotelli had an injury-time penalty appeal declined.

Babel said: "I think it was a tough match.

"It was a different game from the game against City at home. They pushed a lot from the start.

"Fortunately we scored the two early goals but we still had to keep the focus.

"You know City are going to come more attacking and we almost lost it with the offside goal at the end.

"Maybe we had a bit of luck. It was marginal - sometimes they can be good for them but in this case it was good for us.

"It was a positive result."

Ajax are third in the group and even finishing in that position - and so earning a place in the Europa League - would be a positive outcome for the side initially ranked as the outsiders of the quartet.

Holland international Babel said: "I think our goal is to stay in Europe, either the Champions League or the Europa League.

"We have to analyse the next game and after that we will decide what our chances are for Europe."

Babel, 25, is hoping to revive his career back with his first club after a disappointing three-and-a-half years at Anfield and another unsuccessful stint at Hoffenheim.

Despite his past troubles, he was pleased to be back in England.

"It is always great to be back," said Babel, who cost Liverpool £11.5million in 2007.

"English fans and the English atmospheres are special. I have missed it."

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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

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he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

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o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

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