Stamford Bridge

Next Game

Chelsea v Man City

Saturday, 31 January 2015, 17:30

Barclays Prem

Etihad Stadium

Last Game

Man City 0 - 2 M'boro

Saturday, 24 January 2015, 15:00

The FA Cup Fourth Round

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

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

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."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

O

ne of the conclusions from this list is that Man City should never buy a striker in January - good luck Wilfried Bony....

Savinator
F365's Top Ten Worst January Panic Buys

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

Footer 365

Transfer news: Samuel Eto'o leaves Everton for Sampdoria on free transfer

Samuel Eto'o has completed his free transfer from Everton to Sampdoria on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Premier League: Stoke striker Bojan will miss remainder of the season through injury

Stoke forward Bojan will miss the remainder of the season after sustaining a knee ligament injury against Rochdale.

Sky sources: Football Association to endorse Prince Ali's bid for FIFA presidency

Sky sources understand the Football Association will back Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein's bid to become FIFA president.

Mail Box

The Problem With FA Cup Shocks...

...is that the draw for the next round is pretty shocking. Blackburn v Stoke, anybody? We also have mails on LVG and ManUnited, who drew plenty under Fergie...

You're Man Utd, For Crying Out Loud!

Defending a 0-0 draw with Cambridge on the grounds that other teams lost to lower-league opposition is not befitting of Man United. We're inclined to agree with Mailboxers...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company