UEFA Champions League 2018/19: 3 reasons why Tottenham lost to Ajax
It was a bad night for Tottenham in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie with Ajax, as they were defeated at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium by a single goal scored by Donny van de Beek in the 15th minute.
The tie isn’t over for Spurs as they still have the second leg to play in Amsterdam next Wednesday, but if Mauricio Pochettino’s side want to make the final in Madrid they will certainly need to play far better than they did tonight, particularly as the Dutch team now have a crucial away goal in the bank.
Here are 3 reasons why Tottenham lost to Ajax.
#1 Pochettino’s ranks are horribly depleted
It’s almost becoming cliche to mention Tottenham’s lack of activity in both the summer and winter transfer windows this season, but while the lack of new signings didn’t seem to matter when Spurs were firing on all cylinders at full strength, suddenly the decision not to strengthen the squad is coming back to bite them hard.
Spurs simply look depleted right now; Harry Kane, Harry Winks and Serge Aurier were all ruled out of this game with injuries; Dele Alli is playing with a broken hand; Heung-Min Son was suspended for this game; Eric Dier remains unfit and stayed on the bench.
Moussa Sissoko did play but was considered only half-fit and so started the game as a substitute, but worse for Spurs he was brought on to replace Jan Vertonghen, who appeared to sustain a concussion after a nasty clash of heads with teammate Toby Alderweireld.
Ajax played excellently in the first half tonight but didn’t look half as dangerous in the second half, and yet Tottenham didn’t really come close to breaking them down at any stage.
They didn’t look like the side who tore the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund apart earlier this season and for me that’s all down to a lack of key personnel. And it’s hard to see how they can turn this around before next week’s return leg.