Champions League: Ajax advances amid troubling scenes at AEK Athens

Ajax reached the Champions League knockout phase for the first time in 13 years but the Dutch club's 2-0 win...

Posted: Nov 28, 2018 2:56 PM
Updated: Nov 28, 2018 2:56 PM

Ajax reached the Champions League knockout phase for the first time in 13 years but the Dutch club's 2-0 win at AEK Athens was marred by violent clashes both in and outside the Athens Olympic stadium on Tuesday.

Visiting supporters had to shield themselves from flames during clashes with Greek riot police prior to the start of the game after a petrol bomb and flares were reportedly thrown in the direction of the Ajax fans.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Football (Soccer)

Soccer events

Sports and recreation

Sports events

Sports figures

UEFA Champions League

Athens

Continents and regions

Europe

Greece

Southern Europe

AEK Athens FC

Sports organizations and teams

Superleague Greece

La Liga

Real Madrid CF

Pictures showed Ajax fans clashing with Greek police and at least two supporters being left bloodied.

Eleven people were "hospitalized" with minor injuries, a police spokesman told AFP.

"AEK FC unreservedly and by all means condemns the incidents of violence that took place ... not only because they happened during a match for [the] UEFA Champions League, but also because they insult the long history of our club," said a statement on the Greek club's website.

"We worked very hard in every level in order to return to the most important European club competition; what happened during [the] AFC Ajax home clash does not represent the timeless football philosophy of our club and is completely against our principles and the values we honor and serve.

"The obvious thing is condemning what happened on Tuesday and the most important thing is taking all necessary action in order for such incidents not to take place ever again. We have proved that we know well how to correct our mistakes."

UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against both clubs, while Ajax is yet to comment.

Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt tried to calm things down ahead of the Group E contest. Firecrackers then went off in the second half.

Past history

Disturbances in Greek stadiums are nothing new.

Visit cnn.com/sport for more news and videos

In March the country's Superleague was temporarily suspended when PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis entered the pitch with a gun in the late stages of his team's 0-0 draw against AEK. A PAOK goal had just been disallowed for offside.

He later received a three-year ban from football and PAOK was docked three points.

Three years ago the league was also temporarily suspended when fan trouble erupted in an Athens derby featuring the top two teams in Greece historically, Olympiakos and Panathinaikos.

Read: Liverpool left red-faced by Red Star

Read: Was Ronaldo's bicycle kick greatest goal ever?

Dusan Tadic starred for Ajax on the pitch Tuesday, opening the scoring in the 68th minute from the penalty spot after a handball -- which led to a second yellow card for AEK's Marko Livaja -- and adding the second four minutes later.

Progressing in Europe's top club competition was made more impressive because Ajax -- which won the last of its four titles in 1995 -- had to go through three rounds of qualifying and has long sold its best performers.

It still holds the most Dutch domestic league titles, although PSV leads Ajax by five points this season and has won in three of the past four seasons.

"Ajax deserve to start winning trophies," Tadic was quoted as saying by UEFA. "First we set as a goal that we would go to the Champions League -- we did that. Then we aimed to get to the next stage of the UCL, which we did as well.

"That's how you do it, setting goals and achieving them, in Europe and the Netherlands. We will try our best in all competitions and work hard for trophies."

Ajax will win Group E if it beats Bayern Munich on the final matchday next month.

Real Madrid also through

Real Madrid might be struggling domestically but Los Blancos know how to win trophies in the Champions League being the three-time defending champions.

Real Madrid and Tuesday's opponents Roma were already guaranteed passage into the round of 16 from Group G after CSKA lost to Plzen 2-1 in Moscow but the Spanish outfit still beat last season's semifinalists 2-0 in the Italian capital.

How things though could have been different had Cengiz Under not missed a golden chance for Roma in first-half injury time. A few yards from goal and with keeper Thibaut Courtois stranded, he ballooned over the bar. It was one of the misses of the season.

Gareth Bale proceeded to break the deadlock just moments after the interval -- notching his third Champions League goal of the season -- before Lucas Vazquez doubled the advantage in the 59th.

"We're playing against a side of champions and the difference can be seen when they score with their first chance," Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco was quoted as saying by UEFA.

Real Madrid thus recovered from losing for the first time ever against Eibar last weekend -- a match where Courtois struggled -- in Santi Solari's first game in permanent charge.

The troubles continue however for Di Francesco. Roma sits a staggering 18 points behind Juventus in Serie A and entered Tuesday's game on the back of a shocking 1-0 loss to Udinese, which had lost 10 in a row to The Giallorossi in the league and had just fired its manager.

Half the lineup complete

Eight clubs now find themselves in the last 16: Barcelona -- the lone team through prior to the current matchday -- Bayern Munich, Ajax, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Roma, Juventus and Manchester United.

Manchester United still isn't firing on all cylinders, needing an outstanding David de Gea save and an injury time winner from Marouane Fellaini to beat Young Boys 1-0 at Old Trafford. United trails Juventus by two points in Group H after the 'Old Lady' of Italian football edged Valencia 1-0.

Cristiano Ronaldo assisted on Mario Mandzukic's winner in the 59th minute.

United's city rivals Manchester City, meanwhile, rescued a point when Sergio Aguero netted in the 83rd minute for a 2-2 draw at Lyon in Group F. Robert Lewandowski scored twice for Bayern in its 5-1 win over Benfica and in the process became the seventh player to register 50 Champions League goals overall.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 36578

Reported Deaths: 2258
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion10188604
Lake3876207
Allen181071
Cass15919
Elkhart158528
St. Joseph135838
Hendricks120478
Hamilton119194
Johnson1125113
Madison60061
Porter56233
Clark53942
Bartholomew53139
LaPorte44824
Howard44236
Tippecanoe4344
Jackson4012
Delaware39741
Shelby39722
Hancock35427
Boone32436
Floyd31941
Vanderburgh2913
Morgan28626
Noble27821
Montgomery24917
Clinton2471
White2399
Decatur23132
Grant22923
Dubois2113
Kosciusko2052
Harrison19622
Marshall1872
Henry18512
Vigo1828
Greene17226
Dearborn17122
Monroe17113
Lawrence17124
Warrick16729
Miami1461
Putnam1427
Jennings1324
Orange13122
LaGrange1282
Scott1263
Franklin1168
Ripley1086
Daviess10416
Carroll952
Wayne906
Steuben902
Wabash812
Newton8010
Fayette797
Jasper741
Jay580
Clay533
Randolph523
Rush513
Fulton511
Washington501
Pulaski500
Jefferson491
Whitley453
DeKalb451
Starke423
Perry390
Huntington382
Sullivan371
Wells350
Owen341
Brown331
Benton320
Knox310
Blackford272
Tipton261
Crawford250
Adams231
Switzerland220
Spencer221
Fountain222
Gibson202
Parke180
Posey160
Martin140
Warren131
Ohio130
Vermillion100
Union100
Pike60
Unassigned0180

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37758

Reported Deaths: 2357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin6323295
Cuyahoga4789265
Hamilton2811171
Marion268832
Lucas2329263
Pickaway209938
Summit1529181
Mahoning1486191
Butler97532
Columbiana89453
Stark803102
Montgomery73417
Lorain73061
Trumbull60052
Belmont44915
Warren40721
Medina37624
Tuscarawas3714
Ashtabula36938
Miami36730
Delaware36014
Portage33557
Lake32512
Clark3237
Fairfield3188
Wood30649
Geauga30334
Wayne29651
Licking27110
Mercer2278
Richland2224
Allen22133
Clermont2195
Darke19023
Erie18416
Madison1647
Washington11819
Crawford1184
Morrow1081
Ottawa10717
Greene1065
Putnam9514
Sandusky9112
Monroe8015
Auglaize773
Hardin730
Ross732
Hocking705
Jefferson672
Huron611
Williams581
Holmes573
Union561
Muskingum561
Hancock531
Coshocton480
Wyandot482
Clinton471
Shelby473
Fulton450
Logan430
Fayette410
Preble391
Guernsey382
Carroll353
Defiance342
Brown311
Lawrence301
Highland291
Champaign281
Seneca262
Knox251
Ashland230
Vinton212
Perry191
Athens181
Scioto180
Henry170
Jackson150
Paulding140
Adams111
Harrison100
Pike90
Gallia81
Van Wert70
Meigs60
Noble60
Morgan50
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 84°
Angola
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 81°
Huntington
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 84°
Decatur
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 88°
Van Wert
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 88°
Sunny & Pleasant Weekend
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events