Despite its very clear domination, Ajax was surprised by Benfica (0-1), this Tuesday, during the round of 16 second leg of the Champions League. A huge robbery of the Portuguese team, which finds the European TOP 8 for the first time in six years.

The robbery of the si

Darwin qualified Benfica Amsterdam.

The robbery of the century, or not far. Largely dominated and close to breaking for more than an hour, Benfica managed to surprise Ajax (0-1), this Tuesday, during the round of 16 second leg of the Champions League.

With the draw in the first leg (2-2), the Portuguese club achieved a huge success by joining, for the first time in six years, the TOP 8 of the most prestigious of European competitions.

Ajax far above

In a superb atmosphere at the Johan Cruyff Arena, Ajax immediately put enormous pressure on Benfica. In their usual style, the Dutch club deployed their game by drawing aside as much as possible thanks to the incessant doubling of the full-backs who continually offered Tadic and Antony solutions. If they held on, despite the dangerous crosses in the area, the Eagles retreated irretrievably and hardly saw the ball.

Over the minutes, the Batavian domination became suffocating for the Portuguese formation, exceeded in all compartments of the game. The Lancers recovered all the balls very high in the opposing camp and put Vlachodimos to contribute, decisive in front of Antony and Gravenberch. Berghuis, he lacked lucidity at the penalty spot to light the fuse in a preferential position shortly before the break.

Darwin buries Ajax

The second period started again on the same bases: Ajax pushed hard, Benfica held firm. If Vertonghen made his former supporters shudder, Antony was not far from finding the skylight on an extended head. Despite its superiority, the Dutch team had more and more difficulty stringing together sequences in the last 30 meters and left hope for the Portuguese players, who were sharper in the duels.

And what had to happen happened. On a free kick kicked by Grimaldo, Darwin won his fight with Timber to place a point-blank header in the back of the net (0-1, 77th). A goal out of nowhere for Benfica, at the bottom of the hole for more than an hour but who carried out the perfect hold-up to dismiss an opponent who was superior to him on the double confrontation. But experience made the difference to overcome this round and find the European TOP 8, six years later.

The score of the match: 6/10

A match with a great atmosphere and great intensity. The best team did not pass tonight as Ajax dominated this meeting. But with experience and with courage, Benfica held on to beat the Johan Cruyff Arena. A goal from a set piece, on the only shot on target, at the worst time, which came to punish the ineffectiveness of the Dutch players.

The goal :

– On a right free kick, Grimaldo centers in the 5.5 meter zone of Onana. Darwin won in front of Timber to place an unstoppable header (0-1, 77th).

Players’ NOTES

Maxifoot has assigned a score (out of 10) comments on each player.

Man of the match: Darwin Nez (7/10)

Benfica’s best attacking player tonight. The only danger for the Portuguese club in the first period, with some interesting incursions on the left, the Uruguayan striker qualified his team by heading in a free kick from Grimaldo. A single opportunity that was enough to plunge an entire stadium into fear. Replace the 80th minute with Diogo Gonalves (not not).


Andr Onana (4): one shot on target, one goal. The Cameroonian goalkeeper’s last European with Ajax turned into a nightmare with a very average outing in front of Darwin. A real disappointment for him.

Noussair Mazraoui (6.5): Announced close to FC Barcelona, ​​the Moroccan right-back showed the full extent of his talent in this match. Tireless, he offered many solutions behind Antony’s back, putting enormous pressure on the Portuguese defense with his crosses. However, he was much less energetic after the hour mark, lowering his foot.

Jurrin Timber (5): if he was little used, the young central defender was sometimes jostled by the powerful Darwin. It is also he who loses his duel with the Uruguayan striker on the only realization of the match. A youthful mistake. Replace the 96th minute with Mohammed Kudus (not not).

Lisandro Martnez (7): an excellent performance for the Argentinian central defender, who had no trouble extinguishing the Benfica attackers. Very serene with the ball, like his hook which made the stadium vibrate before the break, he was good in the recovery to break the Portuguese front line.

Daley Blind (6.5): good match for the Dutch left side. Carried forward, he was very dangerous on all his transmissions to Tadic or Haller. Eccentric and recoil playmaker, he offered good balls which were not exploited by his attacking partners.

Ryan Gravenberg (6.5): a good match for the Dutch midfielder, who proved to be very hard-hitting with the ball at his feet. His ability to dribble players thanks to his physique has set Benfica back enormously. He was not ashamed of his performance, especially as he got the best opportunity for his team on a shot deflected by Vlachodimos.

E. lvarez (6): 13 duels won out of 18, 4 interceptions. The Mexican was making a big game until this largely avoidable foul that led to the loss of Ajax. One mistake then another from Timber and his team come home. Too bad… Replaced the 81st minute by Bryan Brobbey (not).

Steven Berghuis (5.5): renowned for his always judicious placement, the attacking midfielder posed major problems between the lines. However, he was far too clumsy in the last move, systematically missing the target. Unusual. Replace the 81st minute with Davy Klaassen (not).

Antony (6.5): courted by the biggest European clubs, the Brazilian winger has shown why he could be one of the big attractions next summer. Untenable for an hour, he was the source of many chances, forcing Vlachodimos to repel one of his shots low to the ground. Close to scoring with a header in the second half, he played his game.

Sbastien Haller (4): the second top scorer in the current edition of the C1 has gone completely aside. Eaten in the duels by Otamendi and Vertonghen, he was very clumsy in his ball shots in the box. A real disappointment.

Dusan Tadic (4): the captain of the Dutch club has continued to pound the Portuguese defense with 14 attempted crosses. The concern is that he was crazy clumsy with 31 lost balls. A crippling lack of precision at this level.


Odisseas Vlachodimos (6): solid. The Greek goalkeeper was vigilant on strikes from Antony and Gravenberch in the first period.

Gilberto Junior (6): the Brazilian right side was suffering from the numerous overflows from Blind and Tadic in his lane. However, he never let go to end up taking over physically in the first period. Replace the 91st minute with Valentino Lazaro (not not).

Nicols Otamendi (7): the captain of Benfica held his rank. The Argentinian central defender spoke about his experience by scraping many seconds on contact with his opponents. He even proved to be very comfortable in aerial play, both defensive and offensive.

Jan Vertonghen (7): the Belgian central defender also answered present. Close to surprising Ajax on the return from the locker room, the Red Devil hardly left Haller spaces.

lex Grimaldo (6): facing the twirling Antony, the Spanish left side is in pain. But like his other partners, he never gave up and ended up delivering the decisive pass on Darwin’s goal.

Rafael (4): we have seen too little of the Portuguese winger. Apart from a good job at the start of the second half, he was far too neutral to hope to upset the Dutch defence.

Julian Weigl (5): average. The German midfielder had a complicated first period with numerous ball losses in sensitive areas. He played way too low tonight.

Adel Taarabt (3): the Moroccan environment has never managed to find its rhythm. Overwhelmed by the Portuguese waves, he lost almost all his duels without ever succeeding in a single forward pass. Replace the 46th minute with Soualiho Mt (6), who made the difference thanks to his power in midfield. He greatly relieved his defenders.

Everton (3): the Brazilian winger has been through hell. Very little solicited, he never offered solutions to his partners to put himself in the spotlight. He walked through the game like a ghost. Replace the 72nd minute with Roman Yaremchuk (not).

Gonalo Ramos (4): a very difficult match for the Portuguese, who barely touched the ball tonight. He was frustrated by making faults often supported. However, he can boast of having obtained the decisive free kick. Replace the 91st minute with Paulo Bernardo (not not).

D. Nose (7): read comment above.

+ Find the results and the Champions League ranking on Maxifoot

And for you, who were the best and worst players of the match? Comment in the “comments” box below!

AJAX AMSTERDAM 0-1 BENFICA LISBON (mid-time: 0-0) – CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – 1/8th finals
Stadium: Johan Cruijff Arena, Amsterdam – Referee: Carlos Del Cerro Grande, Spain

Goals : – D. Nez (77th) for BENFICA LISBON
Warnings : J. Timber (83rd), D. Blind (90 + 4th), R. Gravenberch (90+5th)for AJAX AMSTERDAM – Gonalo Ramos (67th)for BENFICA LISBON

AJAX AMSTERDAM : A. OnanaJ. Timber (M. Kudus, 90+7th), Lisandro MartnezN. Mazraoui, D.BlindR. Gravenberch, E. lvarez (B. Brobbey, 81st)S. Berghuis (D. Klaassen, 81st)Anthony, D.TadicS. Haller

BENFICA LISBON : O.VlachodimosN.Otamendi, J. VertonghenGilberto Junior (V. Lazaro, 90+1st), GrimaldoA. Taarabt (S. Met, 46th), J.WeiglGonalo Ramos (Paulo Bernardo, 90+1st)Raphael, Everton (R. Yaremchuk, 72nd)D. Nose (Diogo Gonalves, 81st)

Otamendi answered now

Darwin scored the winning goal for Benfica (0-1, 77th)

Match rat for Haller

Antony’s disappointment

Darwin, man of the match for UEFA