Ajax have one foot in the UEFA Champions League final after defeating Tottenham 1-0 in the first leg of their semi-final clash.

Spurs’ home ground advantage counted for little as the Dutch giants put in yet another impressive performance on the road.

It was their third successive away win in the competition, previously overcoming Real Madrid in the round of 16 and Juventus in the quarter-finals.

The only goal of the match came in the 15th minute when Donny van de Beek found space in the penalty area before finishing calmly past Hugo Lloris. To say it was a reward for their dominance would be an understatement.

Ajax forced the match inside Tottenham’s half for the first 30 minutes and could have scored a second had van de Beek cut the ball back for David Neres, who was waiting to tap the ball into an empty net after a delightful bit of interplay.

Mauricio Pochettino’s second half tweaks saw Tottenham disrupt the away side’s rhythm, however it was not enough to create clear-cut chances themselves.

Ajax had the best chance of the second half when David Neres’ shot hit the woodwork, ultimately keeping Tottenham in the tie.

Spurs have failed to score at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the second time in four days – the first coming in a 1-0 loss to West Ham last Saturday.

They will have it all to do in the second leg in Amsterdam against a fearless Ajax side full of talent and belief.

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Damon Palmar
damon@footballnationradio.com