Football News

Hakim Ziyech names Ajax’s most difficult opponent of the season

By William Eldridge

Published: 17:10, 1 May 2019

Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech has named the most difficult opponent his side have faced in Europe this season.

The Dutch side performed fantastically well Tuesday evening to beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in their Champions League semi-final first leg.

After entering the Champions League in the early qualifying stages, Ajax have sensationally made it into the last four, beating some of Europe’s biggest sides along the way.

If getting past Real Madrid in the round-of-16 wasn’t impressive enough, Ajax then went one further and took down Serie A champions Juventus across two legs, setting up their semi-final clash with Spurs.

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However, Ziyech has named another side who provided the Dutch outfit with the sternest test in the Champions League this year, nominating one of their Group E rivals for the particular honour.

The Ajax star said: “I think it was Benfica (group stage, 1-0 win in the home leg, 1-1 draw back to Portugal).”

Speaking before their 1-0 victory against Tottenham Hotspur, Ziyech is still unlikely to change his answer such was the poor performance given by Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

In contrast, Ajax were both professional and clinical, with 22-year-old midfielder Donny van de Beek scoring a precise first-half goal – assisted by Ziyech himself – to secure both a clean sheet and an away goal to take back to Holland in the second leg next Wednesday.

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