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MATTHIJS DE LIGT’S HONEST ASSESSMENT AFTER AJAX SUFFER HEARTBREAKING DEFEAT

MATTHIJS DE LIGT’S HONEST ASSESSMENT AFTER AJAX SUFFER HEARTBREAKING DEFEAT

Ajax suffered a heartbreaking Champions League exit on Wednesday as Tottenham secured a last-gasp victory to book their spot in the final

Ajax’s teenaged captain Matthijs de Ligt described their Champions League semi-final exit as a “nightmare” after the Dutch side were undone by Lucas Moura’s 96th minute strike for Tottenham on Wednesday.

Spurs were dead and buried at half-time in the second leg at the Johan Cryuff ArenA as they trailed the Amsterdam team 2-0 on the night and 3-0 on aggregate after goals from De Ligt and Hakim Ziyech.

However, a miraculous comeback, spearheaded by Moura, was completed deep into added time when the Brazilian slotted home a loose ball to seal an away goals success and spark amazing scenes in Amsterdam.

And, while the north Londoners were celebrating a spot in the final against Liverpool , it was a heartbreaking exit for the Dutch side who have enjoyed a remarkable European journey this season.

 “It’s a nightmare, like a dream that went bad,” the 19-year-old, who looks set to leave Ajax this summer, told Dutch television.

“We played well in the first half, we had it all our way. We didn’t keep up the same pressure in the second half.

“We gave silly goals away. We were so close to the final and then the ball goes in. Unbelievable.”

The victory for Spurs continues their remarkable progress under boss Mauricio Pochettino, who has led the club further in Europe than any other.

For Ajax, a brilliant run in this competition, where they beat Real Madrid and Juventus in previous rounds, ended in the most heartbreaking of ways and with their side set to be picked apart in the summer, they are unlikely to have a better chance of winning European football’s premier club competition than this.

De Ligt is one of those players linked with a move away, with Manchester United and Barcelona among the clubs keen to sign him at the end of the season.

Mirror football

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