Champions League Match Preview: Ajax vs. Barcelona

By
Updated: November 20, 2013
Barca

Match Date: 26 November 2013 (local)

Match Venue: Amsterdam ArenA

 

It was no surprise that Barcelona slammed Ajax 4-0 on the first leg of their match during the Champions League group stage. The Spanish squad were the obvious favorites. In fact, they only needed one person to make success happen: Lionel Messi, who scored a hat-trick for the nth time.

 

For coach Gerardo Martino, the victory was a fine silver lining to comfort his grieving heart. His father passed away just days before the fixture.

 

Messi scored on both periods, including the opening in the 22nd minute. A follow up goal was fired past half-time, while his last one was netted in the 75th minute. Pique rounded up the four-goal scoring spree with a sharp header in the 69th minute.

 

Ajax almost cancelled out the match on the half-hour mark when Bojan curled a cross deep towards the far post and dodged a header, but this never materialized. In addition, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson had a chance to bag a goal, but his 77th minute penalty was saved by Spanish goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

 

What appears to be a one-sided match is in fact brewing a much more spirited hypothesis of a Barcelona domination. The Dutch players have had a multitude of chances to convert, but the lack of adequate skills—made even more difficult by an indestructible defense by the opposition—forced them to settle in a dismaying upset.

 

Champions League betting tip: In their next meeting, Barcelona are still touted to reign supreme in the pitch. A repeat clean sheet is even possible, but more goals from other players should be expected. Betting for the Spanish side between 1.88 and 2.05 is a wise route to take.

 

Barcelona | Image source: sundul.com