Hakim Ziyech

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No Champions League could lead Lacazette from Arsenal

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Alexandre Lacazette could leave Arsenal if the Gunners fail to win a place in the UEFA Champions League.

So says a report out of The London Evening Standard, which notes that Barcelona and Atletico Madrid would be interested in bringing the Frenchman to La Liga.

[ MORE: Kompany finds new/old club ]

Arsenal will participate in next season’s Europa League unless it beats Chelsea in this season UEL Final on May 29 in Baku.

Lacazette, 27, has 19 goals and 13 assists for Arsenal this season and struck up a tremendous partnership with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. He has not played in the Champions League since 2016-17.

Arsenal is being linked with a big attacking target, too, and is said to be intrigued with Ajax boss Marc Overmars comments that Hakim Ziyech will be allowed to leave if his $28 million release clause is met. From The Evening Standard:

“He is in focus because of his achievements in the Champions League. Many big clubs are buzzing around him, We promised Hakim that we would agree if there is a good transfer,” Overmars told the Dutch De Telegraaf newspaper.
Ziyech has played his entire career in the Dutch Eredivisie between Heerenveen, Twente, and Ajax. He has 12 goals in 23 caps for Morocco and scored five times for Ajax in the Champions League to go with 16 league goals.

AT THE HALF: Ajax up 3-0 on Spurs, 45 mins. from UCL final (video)

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The incredible story that is Ajax’s 2018-19 UEFA Champions League run is showing no sign of letting up, at least not through the first 45 minutes of their semifinal second leg against Tottenham Hotspur.

[ MORE: Where does Liverpool’s amazing UCL comeback rank all-time? ]

In fact, the Dutch side’s lead has only ballooned — from 1-0, to 3-0 — from minutes 91 to 135.

Thus far, the second leg has looked quite similar to the first leg: Ajax in complete control and playing some of the smoothest attacking soccer anyone has seen in quite some time. A comeback the likes of which the world hasn’t seen in 24 hours is the only thing that can save Tottenham now.

Matthijs de Ligt made it 2-0 on aggregate after just five minutes, followed by a second — in mouth-watering fashion — from Hakim Ziyech.

Ajax takes 1st leg lead at Spurs

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  • Just 3 combined shots on target
  • Van de Beek nets lone marker
  • Spurs with 51 percent possession

Spurs couldn’t find the goal in a 1-0 loss to Ajax in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday.

Donny van de Beek scored a 15th minute goal to give Ajax its win, with the second leg set for May 8 at Amsterdam Arena.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Van de Beek’s goal was a pretty bit of play, aided by Danny Rose‘s jump out of position.

The 22-year-old, who also scored against Juventus in the second leg of the quarterfinals, zipped through the box to meet a terrific pass from Hakim Ziyech.

Van de Beek faked a right-footed shot before using his actual effort to beat Hugo Lloris for 1-0.

Spurs were seemingly set to suffer a heavy loss when Jan Vertonghen was bloodied and dazed, but he was allowed to return to the match.

There were moments for Spurs, with Dele Alli perhaps the liveliest of the attackers.

The second best chance of the game was also Ajax’s, as David Neres chipped a shot off the far post which would’ve put Tottenham in a world of hurt.

A late set piece for Spurs saw Toby Alderweireld‘s header of a Christian Eriksen free kick pop over the bar.

Ajax ends Real’s Champions League reign

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  • Real’s reign as 3-time champions ends at home
  • Schone scores wonder goal (video)
  • Vinicius Junior injured (MORE)
  • Nacho shown late red card

Ajax put an end to Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League reign with a 4-1 second leg at the Bernabeu on Tuesday, sending the Dutch side into the quarterfinals with a 5-3 win over two legs.

Hakim Ziyech, David Neres, Dusan Tadic, and Lasse Schone scored in the win, which reversed with ease a 2-1 first leg loss in the Netherlands.

Marco Asensio scored Real Madrid’s lone goal.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

After an early Real header off the cross bar from Raphael Varane, Ajax struck gold.

Dusan Tadic dribbled down the right before side-footing a pass to Ziyech for a shot a across goal and past Thibaut Courtois.

Neres made it 3-2 on aggregate, leveling the tie on away goals when Tadic set him up for a neatly-dinked goal.

And he nearly added another with a chip across goal that missed the upper 90.

Andre Onana stopped Lucas Vazquez’s bid to bring the tie level in the 24th.

Enter Gareth Bale. The out-of-favor Welsh star entered the game after just a half-hour, though his arrival was met by a long Vinicius dribble that cause amplification of an earlier injury.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Benzema came close to bringing the tie even at 3 when he dribbled past Ziyech to shoot across goal and wide in the 59th minute.

Ajax looked to have clinched the tie in the 63rd minute via a Tadic wonder strike, and a first replay via VAR looked like the ball had gone out of play in the build-up. A second angle, however, seemed to show it just touching the white paint, and it was ruled inconclusive.

Real got one back in the 70th minute, with substitute Marco Asensio rolling a low shot past Onana and inside the far post.

Then came Lasse Schone. What else can you say about this free kick, other than a remarkable effort accompanies a mistake from Courtois.

Champions League wrap: Ziyech scores for Ajax; Celtic wins

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There was some talk that hot transfer market target Hakim Ziyech might sit out the first leg of Ajax’s UEFA Champions League second qualifying round versus SK Sturm Graz.

[ MORE: Brighton breaks transfer record ]

He played, and he scored. Now we wait to see whether cup-tying himself to the Dutch giants affects his season status.

Celtic 3-1 Rosenborg

Odsonne Edouard scored in each half as Celtic controlled the first leg in Glasgow, though it will be disappointed to give away a 16th minute away goal to Birger Meling. Former Man City youth Olivier Ntcham scored Celtic’s other goal.

Ajax 2-0 SK Sturm Graz

Hakim Ziyech and Lasse Schone scored for the Amsterdam set, Schone’s goal a rebound from his own missed penalty.

Ziyech had an out-of-this-world season for Ajax last season, and looks set to keep the standard.

Here’s the goal:

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