Borussia Dortmund vs. Ajax  1 - 0

Article

De Boer disappointed with Dortmund defeat

19 September 2012 12:07

Ajax coach Frank de Boer was disappointed with his side's loss at Borussia Dortmund in their opening Champions League clash.

The Amsterdam giants appeared to be on their way to a hard-fought scoreless draw in their Group D until Robert Lewandowski found the net from close range in the 87th minute.

De Bowe, though, feels his side deserved better than a narrow loss.

"We had most of the possession. Of course they were dangerous at certain times, but so were we. We had the chances to score one, two or even three goals," de Boer said at his post-match press conference.

"I said before the match that we had to play according to our style and that is what we did.

"Therefore, it is especially disappointing that we threw it away three minutes from time.

"We can be proud of the way we played, but we failed to take the lead.

"Against this type of team you can't afford to do that because you are then presented with the bill at the end.

"If you can blame us for something, it's that we were not cold-blooded enough to take the chances we got."

Ajax's next Champions League game is against Real Madrid on October 3.

Article

Babel defends Ajax´s chances

18 September 2012 08:07

Ryan Babel has quashed the notion Ajax have already lost their Champions League opener with Borussia Dortmund.

The German champions are heavily favoured to overcome the Eredivisie holders on Tuesday, with the luxury of home advantage playing into the hands of Juergen Klopp's charges.

Nonetheless, Babel, who returned to Ajax on transfer deadline day in August, ispositive about his side's prospects, but insisted they must be clinical in their approach.

"Our squad has a lot of experience in the Champions League," the former Liverpool man told reporters.

"We have not lost in advance. There are opportunities awaiting us and we must exploit them."

However, the Netherlands international's view is not shared by Johan Cruyff, who believes the Amsterdam giants will suffer a disappointing fate in Group D against the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester City, as well as Dortmund.

"This year, I have mixed feelings in the Champions League," Cruyff wrote in his column for De Telegraaf.

"Of course it's nice that Ajax play against the champions of Spain, England and Germany.

"But at the same time, you realise that it is very difficult for the club to qualify for the knockout stages."

Cruyff also reflected on the fall from grace Ajax have endured since their appearance in the final of the 1996 competition, when they lost to Juventus on penalties.

"This situation is mainly caused because Ajax were placed in the third pot of the draw," he said.

"Over the last 17 years something clearly went wrong.

"How can it happen that a team that won the Champions League in 1995, and in the final again a year later, now find themselves in the third pot?"

Article

Klopp talks up Ajax credentials

16 September 2012 17:46

Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp has praised the technical skills of his side's first UEFA Champions League opponents, Ajax.

Dortmund will host the Eredivisie champions on Wednesday and Klopp's anticipating an 'exciting game'.

However, the German coach believes Ajax respect his side as Dortmund have won the past two Bundesliga titles and are renowned for their passionate home support.

"Ajax are a great football team," Klopp said.

"It's enjoyable watching them play because of their technical skills but I think they, being a young team that has just recently signed the likes of (Ryan) Babel in order to have more experienced players on the pitch, have got respect for us, and for our stadium.

"So it will be an exciting game."

Dortmund warmed up for their opening group fixture in the European competition with a 3-0 Bundesliga win over Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.

Klopp's side are unbeaten on home turf in all competitions since their last Champions League fixture in December 2011 when they lost to Marseille.

Dortmund face a very difficult task of qualifying for the Champions League round of 16 with Real Madrid and Manchester City the other two teams in Group D.

"We have a difficult group but we can't think about that now," Klopp said.

"What's important is the fact we're facing Ajax.

"There will be an extraordinary atmosphere.

"It's still summer.

"People will be in a good mood and they will see us play an interesting and difficult yet cool game."

Bundesliga table

# Team MP D P
14 12 -3 12
15 12 -8 12
16 12 -5 11
17 12 -12 10
18 12 -12 9

Eredivisie table

# Team MP D P
1 13 +24 31
2 13 +17 29
3 13 +12 24
4 13 +12 24
5 13 +0 21