Ajax rallied from behind to beat Besiktas 2-1 on Wednesday, clinching the top spot in Group C. Sebastien Haller extended his Champions League scoring streak with two second-half goals. The 27-year-old came off the bench to score goals in the 54th and 69th minutes as Ajax battled back from a halftime deficit to retain their perfect record in the group intact.
Former West Ham Striker and Ajax
The former West Ham striker became the first player in the competition’s history to score nine goals in his first five games, surpassing Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund’s previous mark of eight goals. Besiktas took the lead after Ajax fullback Noussair Mazraoui handled the ball and Rachid Ghezzal buried a 22nd-minute penalty kick.
Ajax, on the other hand, did not waste any time in asserting their dominance, equalizing after a long pass from Lisandro Martinez released Nicolas Tagliafico free down the left-wing, and his square ball offered an easy convert for Haller.
Ajax’s winner came from Dusan Tadic’s free-kick, which initially fell to Martinez, who missed his attempt, but Haller steered the ball home with a long leg. In stoppage time, Haller had the ball in the net, but his teammate David Neres was offside, denying him a hat-trick. Ajax, who rested several regulars in Wednesday’s encounter, can complete a hat trick when they face Sporting at home on December 7.
Edin Dzeko and RB Leipzig Scored
Inter Milan defeated Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 at San Siro on Wednesday, sending the Italians into the Champions League knockout stage for the first time in a decade. Edin Dzeko scored twice in six second-half minutes.
After being disappointed by two disallowed goals and a string of squandered opportunities, the Bosnian stroked home a finish after 61 minutes to give Inter a merited lead.
Dzeko doubled his tally just a few minutes later, heading home and inviting Ivan Perisic cross to score his 50th goal in European club competitions. As a result of result, Shakhtar will finish last with one point.
RB Leipzig won 5-0 away at Club Bruges on Wednesday, moving them off the bottom of Champions League Group A. They scored four goals in the first half and added one more after the break. Leipzig is now in a strong position to finish third in the table and qualify for the Europa League, ahead of their Belgian opponents.
Topper in the Group
Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have earned the top two spots in the group and will go to the Champions League final 16. In the first 45 minutes, Emil Forsberg scored twice, including one from the penalty spot, with Christopher Nkunku and Andre Silva adding the other two goals for Leipzig. At the end of the second half, Nkunku scored the fifth goal in stoppage time.
Despite missing coach Jesse Marsch and captain and first-choice goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi, who tested positive for COVID-19 on the night of the game, Leipzig won their first group game. They are now tied for fourth place with Bruges on four points, but they have a stronger head-to-head record than the Belgians.
If they are to stay third in the Bundesliga, they must at least match, if not improve, Bruges’ performance in their last group encounter on December 7 when they play Manchester City. At the same time, the Belgians will be away at PSG.