By CAITLIN MURRAY
It wasn’t quite David and Goliath, but Ajax certainly beat the odds in UEFA Champions League action Tuesday.
Ajax came away with a huge upset in Amsterdam, clinging to a 2-1 victory over Barcelona despite being down to ten for most of the second half.
Ajax came out gunning, scoring twice in the first half on goals from Thulani Serero in the 19th minute and Danny Hoesen in the 41st minute. But they looked to be in trouble just three minutes into the second half when Joel Veltman drew a red card and Barcelona midfielder Xavi converted the penalty kick.
Ajax retreated and hunkered down, successfully fending off Barca’s attacks for a 2-1 result and netting a crucial three points as they look to advance to the knockout stages of Champion’s League.
In North London, Arsenal got a confidence boost from a convincing 2-0 victory Tuesday over Marseille as the Gunners went into the match having been beaten three out of their previous five.
Arsenal set the tone early, with Jack Wilshere scoring in the first thirty seconds, and Olympique Marseille never seemed quite up to the task of playing catch-up. It took Wilshere another 64 minutes to score again, but it was enough to secure the 2-0 result.
Arsenal appears to be gaining momentum after their splendid win in Dortmund earlier this month as the team hunts for their 11th straight knockout appearance.
Elsewhere, Chelsea managed to qualify for the tournament’s knockout stages despite getting beat late by FC Basel, 1-0. For their win, Basel move into the second group.
Here’s the full rundown of Champion’s League results Tuesday:
FC Basel 1-0 Chelsea
Steaua Bucuresti 0-0 Schalke 04
Arsenal 2-0 Olympique Marseille
Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Napoli
Zenit St. Petersburg 1-1 Atletico Madrid
FC Porto 1-1 Austria Vienna
Ajax 2-1 Barcelona
Celtic 0-3 AC Milan
What did you think of today’s results? Did you expect Ajax to defeat Barcelona? Do you see Arsenal making it to the knockout stages? Surprised with Chelsea’s performance?
Share your thoughts below.