Ajax Amsterdam – PAOK Saloniki: Ten Hag’s Team Makes It To The Next Round In A Thriling Game (3-2)
In a game full of events and goals, Ajax displayed their superiority once again, as Ten Hag had drawn lessons from the first game. In his tactical approach, the team was solid, yet Ajax were naive enough to let PAOK open the scoring, bringing frightening moments in the game that would last until the very last second.
Tactical analysis and match report by Simon Piotr.
Drawing the first game 2-2 in Greece, Ajax started the game with a head start. However, the intensity and the bravery PAOK Saloniki showed in the first leg foreshadowed that the return would not be a piece of cake. Both teams did not change much to their tactics compared to the first leg, mainly because of the coherent and clear styles of play from two very different coaches.
Ten Hag kept his vintage 4-2-3-1 formation in place, that turned into a flexible 3-1-4-2-ish formation when building up, comparable to last week’s second half. The changes came in the players lined up; David Neres was back in the offensive line instead of Kasper Dolberg - which also brought Dušan Tadić back to his false nine A striker that constantly drops deep and plays like a number ten. position. Marin was also played in midfield instead of the defender Perr Schuurs, leading Noussair Mazraoui to play in his nominal role of right back, as Joël Veltman was back in central defense.
As expected, the Greek side lined up in the . . .