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Ajax 4-0 Rangers: Match report, player ratings, fan reaction and more

The Scottish side suffered a second successive heavy defeat


Rangers began their Champions League group in calamitous fashion as they were outclassed at the Johan Cruyff Arena by an Ajax side that continue to look threatening despite their yearly mass exodus, handing Rangers their second 4-0 defeat in 5 days.

It was Ajax who began the game the stronger, pinning the visitors back in their own third as former Tottenham man Bergwijn fired wide and only some last-ditch defending preventing more shots on goal.

The resistance did not last long for the Scots though. After just 17 minutes, a Steven Berghuis corner was nodded home by Chelsea target Edson Alvarez, who had lost Connor Goldson to find himself with a free header and hand his side a deserved lead.

Pressure continued to pile on Rangers, with Rensch, Bergwijn and Tadic all coming close as the Dutch side cut through their opponents time and time again. But for all their good play, it was with a huge slice of luck that the hosts doubled their lead, with a Berghuis shot taking a massive deflection off the foot of James Sands to leave his goalkeeper with no chance and handing his side a mountain to climb.

1 minute and 55 seconds later it was 3-0, courtesy of Mohamed Kudus. Holding off James Tavernier, he rifled a shot from the edge of the box past McLaughlin and off the far post to put the result beyond any doubt.

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Three defensive changes at the break for Rangers saw the game suffocated somewhat, and the second half offered far fewer chances for the home side despite their pretty football.

And the Gers thought that they had grabbed a consolation just before 70 minutes, only for Borna Barasic to have his stunning strike ruled out for an offside in the build-up.

But it was Ajax who once again showed their quality, with some sloppy football in the Rangers defence allowing Steven Bergwijn to steal in and round McLaughlin, before tapping into an empty net.

It was a rude awakening for Rangers, who face Liverpool and Napoli in the rest of their group, while Ajax look as though they could go toe-to-toe with either of the European giants.

Player Ratings

Ajax

GK: Remko Pasveer - 6

Had very little to do but beat the tentative Rangers press with ease when required.

RB: Devyne Rensch - 8

Roamed freely from right back and found himself in a shooting position on several occasions. Looks an exciting talent.

CB: Jurrien Timber - 7

Defended well when called upon and looked comfortable carrying the ball. Was not really tested for much of the game.

CB: Calvin Bassey - 7

Looked perfectly at home against his old side, and will be one to watch for a big move in the years to come.

LB: Daley Blind - 6

A solid outing for the former Manchester United man, but he was not really tested going backwards. An exercise in passing for the Dutchman.

CM: Mohammed Kudus - 8

Seems to have put his disagreement with the club behind him and came up with a brilliant performance. Netted his first Champions League goal and was a threat all game.

CM: Edson Alvarez - 7

Opened the scoring with a free header and kept the ball moving well all night.

CM: Kenneth Taylor - 8

Could well be the next talent off the Ajax conveyer belt. Taylor was everywhere and played his part in the domination despite not getting on the scoresheet.

RW: Steven Berghuis - 7

Grabbed a goal and an assist while continuing to probe the Rangers defence all evening.

ST: Dusan Tadic - 9

Ran the show for the hosts even though he will not take the headlines, the Serbian continues to age like fine wine.

LW: Steven Bergwijn - 7

Continued his fine scoring run for Ajax and looked a threat for much of the evening.

Substitutes

Davy Klaassen - 5

Solid but unspectacular for the final 10 minutes.

Lucas Ocampos - 5

Nearly cost his side a goal in the final moments with a loose touch. Otherwise solid.

Youri Baas - 6

Had very little to do with his side coasting.

Jorge Sanchez- N/A

Came on for the final 2 minutes.

Brian Brobbey - N/A

Came on for the final 2 minutes.

Rangers

GK: Jon McLaughlin - 6

Made some good saves that prevented a cricket score. Couldn’t really do too much about any of the goals.

RB: James Tavernier - 3

Came into the game with an injury and was taken off after the first half. Lost Kudus far too easily for the Ajax second and could not have his usual attacking input.

CB: Ryan Goldson - 4

Looked a level below the attacking talent he faced, and will need to be better for the next Champions League clashes.

CB: James Sands - 3

Was caught underneath the ball for the opening goal, and his deflection handed Ajax their second. A poor night for the centre-back.

LB: Borna Barisic - 5

Unlucky to see a gorgeous strike ruled out for offside, but was overrun by the Ajax defensive overlaps in the first half.

CM: Scott Wright - 4

Was chasing shadows through the entire first half.

CM: John Lundstrum - 4

Couldn’t get his foot on the ball to prevent wave after wave of Ajax attack, or get near enough to break up the moves.

RM: Glen Kamara -5

Ran hard but hardly touched the ball and could do nothing with it when he had it.

CAM: Malik Tillman - 5

Hardly saw the ball but held onto it far better than his teammates. Showed heart at least.

LM: Ryan Kent - 5

Well below his usual standard.

ST: Antonio-Mirko Colak - 4

Anonymous and his teammates could not find him anything like often enough.

Substitutes:

Leon King - 4

Came on for the talismanic Tavernier and didn’t really put a foot wrong, but it will have been a chastening experience for the teenager.

Rabbi Matondo - 4

Looked lively without actually doing anything.

Ryan Jack - 4

Gave the ball away for the fourth Ajax goal and picked up a yellow card. A bad night for Jack.

Steven Davis - 5

Offered much-needed fresh legs in midfield.

Fan reaction


Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.



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