Haller at the double as Ajax maintain perfect Champions League record

Istanbul: Sebastien Haller continued his Champions League scoring spree with two second-half goals as Ajax Amsterdam came from behind to beat Besiktas 2-1 on Wednesday (Thursday AEDT) and clinch top spot in Group C.

Haller came off the bench at the start of the second half and netted goals in the 54th and 69th minutes as Ajax overturned a half-time deficit to keep up their 100 per cent run in the group.

Sebastien Haller celebrates the second of his two second-half goals for Ajax in Istanbul.Credit:AP

The 27-year-old Haller has nine goals in five games in the group phase, tied with Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich in this season’s Champions League scoring charts.

The Ivory Coast striker has now scored in his first five Champions League matches, a feat only previously achieved by Alessandro Del Piero, Diego Costa and Erling Haaland. He is the first player to score nine goals in his first five matches in the competition.

“I just tried to keep my focus, stay in the game and, yes, be important for the team,” he told Dutch television.

Besiktas, who have lost all five of their group matches, went ahead after Ajax fullback Noussair Mazraoui handled the ball and Rachid Ghezzal tucked away a 22nd-minute spot kick.

UEFA Champions League matchday five results


  • Dynamo Kiev 1 Bayern 2
  • Villarreal 2 Manchester United 0
  • Chelsea 4 Juventus 0
  • Barcelona 0 Benfica 0
  • Sevilla 2 Wolfsburg 0
  • Malmo 1 Zenit St Petersburg 1
  • Lille 1 RB Salzburg 0
  • Young Boys 3 Atalanta 3


  • Besiktas 1 Ajax Amsterdam 2
  • Inter Milan 2 Shakhtar Donetsk 0
  • 7am: Manchester City v Paris Saint-Germain, Sporting Lisbon v Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid v AC Milan, Liverpool v Porto, Club Brugge v RB Leipzig, Sheriff Tiraspol v Real Madrid

But Ajax did not take long to impose their supremacy and equalised after a long pass out of defence from Lisandro Martinez set Nicolas Tagliafico away down the left wing and his square ball provided an easy conversion for Haller.

Ajax’s winner came from Dusan Tadic’s free kick, initially falling to Martinez who miss-hit his shot but Haller stuck out a lanky leg to steer the ball home.

Haller had the ball in the net in stoppage time but his teammate David Neres was offside to deny him a hat-trick.

Ajax, who rested several regulars in Wednesday’s game, can complete a full house of wins when they conclude the group campaign at home to Portuguese side Sporting on December 7.

Edin Dzeko also doubled down for Inter Milan.Credit:AP

In Thursday’s other early kick-off, Edin Dzeko scored twice in the space of six second-half minutes to earn Inter Milan a 2-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk at San Siro and send the Italians to the brink of their first Champions League knockout stage appearance in a decade.

The Bosnian swept home a finish after 61 minutes to give Inter a deserved lead after they had been left frustrated by two disallowed goals and a string of missed opportunities.

Dzeko did not need long to double his tally, heading in an inviting Ivan Perisic cross to mark his 50th goal in European club competitions.

The result left Simone Inzaghi’s side provisionally top of Group D on 10 points and means Shakhtar, with one point, are guaranteed to finish bottom.

If Sheriff Tiraspol, with six points, fail to beat Real Madrid, on nine points, later on Thursday, Inter will be guaranteed of a place in the last-16 for the first time since 2011-12.


Sports news, results and expert commentary. Sign up for our Sport newsletter.

  • Watch Messi, Neymar, Ronaldo and football’s biggest superstars with every match of the Champions League, Europa League and UEFA Conference League streaming ad-free, live and on-demand only on Stan Sport.

Most Viewed in Sport

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article