Premier League: Hakim Ziyech makes bullish Liverpool declaration
- Hakim Ziyech has declared that Ajax would have beaten Premier League side Liverpool in UCL final last season if they had qualified.
- The all-Premier League UCL final between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur last season was won by the Reds.
Hakim Ziyech has claimed that Ajax would have beaten English Premier League (EPL) side, Liverpool, in the UEFA Champions League final last season if they had managed to overcome Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-final.
The Moroccan attacker has agreed a deal in principle with Chelsea and is set to join the EPL outfit for the 2020-21 season. Having secured a 1-0 victory in the first leg against Spurs, Ajax conceded three second-half goals in the second leg after taking a 2-0 lead to suffer elimination.
Spurs rallied back through Lucas Moura, who capped off a stunning performance with a hat-trick to take his side through to the finals. The all-Premier League final between Tottenham and Liverpool wasn't a spectacle to remember, but the Reds secured their sixth European Cup with a 2-0 victory.
Ziyech's Premier League arrival
Ziyech, however, claimed in his documentary that Ajax had it in them to beat the runaway EPL leaders.
"Certainly we could have beaten Liverpool if we had qualified for the Champions League final last year"
Ajax's UEFA Champions League run was an underdog story of epic proportions. Having entered the group stages by virtue of the qualifying rounds, the Eredivisie outfit against Bayern Munich, SL Benfica, and AEK Athens in Group E.
Erik ten Hag's side impressed in the group stages and finished second to set up a mouthwatering Round of 16 clash with 13-time UCL winners and the reigning champions at the time Real Madrid.
In a result that sent shockwaves across Europe, Ajax recorded a stunning 5-3 victory on aggregate including a 4-1 demolition of Los Blancos at the Santiago Bernabeu. Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus stood between them and a spot in the semi-final, and once again, the Dutch champions produced an upset to win 3-2 on aggregate.
Former Premier League attacker Dusan Tadic was their star attraction up front, with the likes of Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong, Andre Onana, and David Neres also enhancing their growing reputations.
Ajax fancied their chances against Spurs, as they believed they had done enough to warrant a place in the final. However, their fairytale European run was ended in excruciating circumstances, as a last-minute goal from Moura meant the Premier League side produced a stunning heist in Amsterdam.
Liverpool's routine victory in the all-Premier League final did not stop Ziyech from making such bullish claims, as the Morrocan's declaration caused an uproar on social media.
Recently, the current Eredivisie campaign was cancelled, and the Dutch Football Federation announced that there would be no league champion this season. Ajax were outraged by the decision, and several players said publicly that they did not agree with the decision.
However, no such decision is expected to be made by the Premier League, with the current season scheduled to resume whenever it is safe to do so.