Player ranking when the Nunez objective secures a spot within the quarter-finals

A Darwin Nunez objective turned out to be the distinction at Johan Cruijff ArenA on Wednesday evening, when Benfica secured a spot within the Champions League quarter-final on the expense of Ajax.

The residence crew nearly fully dominated the match, however a resolute Benfica held on earlier than taking a winner within the seventy fifth minute.

After a determined begin to the match, the place each groups pushed ahead with actual intent, Ajax star Sebastien Haller discovered the meshes. The former West Ham man completed off a splendidly sweeping Ajax transfer began by Daley Blind, however because the ball seeped over the road, the assistant referee raised his flag and dominated out the objective for offside.

The non-goal heralded the beginning of a interval of dominance for Ajax, when particularly Dusan Tadic started to tug the strings. His supply from the left wing was an actual concern for the guests, who may solely see when a stunning publish from the previous Southampton man was locked by Lisandro Martinez on the again publish. The ensuing nod, nevertheless, slipped off the publish.

Ajax continued to pepper the Benfica objective for the remainder of the primary half. Ryan Gravenberch noticed a respectable effort from lengthy vary tipped over the crossbar by Odisseas Vlachodimos across the half-hour mark, and Steven Berghuis obtained a shot from close to the penalty spot about 5 minutes later.

Although they didn’t handle to search out a gap, Ajax had been on a totally different degree than Benfica in the primary half. The friends may barely put collectively two passes and will very, very, very not often get out of their very own half of the sphere, whereas the residence crew pressed effectively and confirmed actual high quality within the ball possession.

It was all one-way site visitors firstly of the second half as effectively, however Benfica appeared rather more advanced underneath the strain and will really get into the final third a couple of occasions – one thing that appeared fully unattainable in the primary half.

Incredibly, the guests nearly discovered the breakthrough. Jan Vertonghen unleashed a swerving effort from the precise that the guests’ keeper did effectively to tip broad. It was a a lot, a lot better likelihood than what his ensuing nodding effort made it seem like.

Vertonghen’s likelihood turned out to be a little bit of an alarm clock for the residence crew, who promptly went up at the opposite finish and created their greatest objective likelihood throughout the first hour of the match. As anticipated, the possibility got here after some good interplay between Blind and Tadic, the place the previous chipped the ball fantastically in the best way of Antony eight meters from objective. The Brazilian’s ensuing nod, nevertheless, hit simply over the crossbar.

Unexpectedly, Ajax ran out of concepts after that likelihood, and after quarter-hour of terribly turgid soccer, Benfica went up at the opposite finish and scored a objective.

The objective got here from objective scorer Darwin Nunez, who obtained his head on the ball earlier than Andre Onana to throw residence a free kick from Alex Grimaldo from the precise wing.

Ajax appeared shocked and unimaginative after the objective, and the guests had been capable of maintain on to a well-known victory.

Ajax Defender / ANP / GettyImages

Andre Onana (GK) – 2/10 – Shocking goalkeeper play led to the Benfica objective.

Noussair Mazraoui (RB) – 4/10 – He was okay. Definitely may have helped Antony a bit with higher overlapping runs.

Jurrien Timber (CB) – 4/10 – He didn’t have a lot to defend.

Lisandro Martinez (CB) – 5/10 – Had a half-decent likelihood to open targets in the primary half.

Daley Blind (LB) – 6/10 – Connected effectively with Tadic on the left edge.

Gravenberch within the wars / Chris Brunskill / Fantasista / GettyImages

Edson Alvarez (CM) – 5/10 – Sat in midfield and was ticking over.

Steven Berghuis (CM) – 4/10 – Came effectively into the field, however solely lacked the standard to make the decisive objective.

Ryan Gravenberch (CM) – 6/10 – It may be very simple to see why he’s so extremely ranked. The child is severely proficient. Impressed in the primary half however pale within the second.

A irritating evening for Ajax / Soccrates Images / GettyImages

Antony (RW) – 6/10 – Has actually ‘Liverpool’ overwritten. A typical Jurgen Klopp ahead.

Sebastien Haller (ST) – 4/10 – Made an offside objective, and was then fully marked out of the recreation by Benfica’s midfielders.

Dusan Tadic (LW) – 6/10 – An actual livewire for Ajax in the primary half. Seemed to expire of concepts after the break.

Davy Klaassen – N / A.

Brian Brobbey – N / A.

Mohammed Kudus – N / A.

Nicolas Otamendi was wonderful / Soccrates Images / GettyImages

Odisseas Vlachodimos (GK) – 5/10 – Made a very good save to disclaim Gravenberch.

Gilberto (RB) – 6/10 – Struggled to get anyplace close to Tadic for the primary 20 minutes after which discovered the foothold to maintain the left midfielder quiet for many of the second half.

Nicolas Otamendi (CB) – 8/10 – Defended his field exceptionally effectively. Good issues.

Jan Vertonghen (CB) – 8/10 – Marshalled the protection. Very robust efficiency from the previous Tottenham man.

Alex Grimaldo (LB) – 8/10 – Enjoyed a correct battle exterior Antony, after which arrange the objective with a implausible stable ball.

Weigl works laborious / Soccrates Images / GettyImages

Rafa Silva (RM) – 6/10 – He put in a shift, however did not likely present what he can do within the final third.

Julian Weigl (CM) – 7/10 – Kept himself in entrance of Benfica’s protection.

Adel Taarabt (CM) – 3/10 – Could not deal with the Ajax press and hooked at half time. Poor show.

Everton (LM) – 4/10 – Tracked again, however had a fantastic likelihood to maneuver ahead.

Nunez scored / ANP / GettyImages

Goncalo Ramos (ST) – 5/10 – Like the remainder of his attacking teammates, he tracked again effectively on a regular basis.

Darwin Nunez (ST) – 8/10 – Worked so laborious for the crew and go his solely rewards: a twenty sixth objective of the season.

Soualiho Meïté – 7/10 – Safely up Benfica’s midfield. Made an actual influence.

Roman Yaremchuk – N / A.

Diogo Goncalves – N / A.

Paulo Bernardo – N / A.

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