Napoli pummeled Ajax to continue its remarkable pursuit of European glory. They are leaders in group A with nine points and a +11 goal difference. They are unbeaten in the Champions League and Serie A.
On a historic night, Napoli thrashed Dutch side Ajax 6-1 on Matchday three of the Champions League, played at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam. For Ajax, it was their biggest European defeat and the heaviest defeat in any competition since 1964. Ajax now sits third in their group, with one win in three matches, and are behind Liverpool but ahead of Rangers.
Luciano Spalletti’s men kept up their momentum by handing Ajax its worst-ever European defeat, surpassing its 5-1 loss to Bayern Munich in 1980. A completely unrecognizable Ajax came up against a Napoli side that was clinical and ruthless in front of the goal. The Italian side conceded an early goal but quickly seized total control and delivered one of their best performances this season.
Napoli’s Superb Scoring
Napoli dominated the first half, although Ajax took the lead through Ghanaian international Mohammed Kudus in the sixth minute. After a series of rebounds and deflections in Napoli’s box, Kudus found himself with the ball deflecting off this shin and into the corner of the net. That would be the only true highlight for the Dutch giants.
Napoli responded quickly in the 17th minute. Giacomo Raspadori tied the match. A long cross by Mathias Olivera found Raspadori, who leveled the score via an acrobatic diving header.
Napoli Was a Steamroller
The Italians were already the masters of the game. Mexican international Hirving Lozano owned the right flank with a remarkable performance that included several well-placed crosses. Napoli scored their second goal in the 33rd minute when captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo headed in a corner kick from Kvaratskhelia to give the visitors the lead for the first time in the match. But that was not all. In the stoppage time of the first half, Piotr Zielinski finished a perfect counterattack to beat goalkeeper Remko Pasveer and make the 1-3 at halftime.
The second half started in the worst possible way for Ajax. A miscommunication between Pasveer and defender Bassey resulted in a 1-4 lead, with Napoli leading. The second goal for Giacomo Raspadori. Whatever Ajax had planned in the dressing room came crashing down with this goal. Further, it boosted the optimism of the Gli Azzurri. In the 62nd minute, they made it 1-5. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia appeared on the left to make a one-two with Raspadori, entered the box, and netted the fifth goal.
Ajax Had No Response
To make matters worse, Serbian defender Dusan Tadic received two yellow cards, forcing Ajax to finish the game with ten men. Despite a five-goal advantage, the Italian side continued to push forward and wreak havoc against a confused Ajax squad. Ten minutes from the end, substitute Giovanni Simeone appeared in the area to capitalize on an excellent pass from Tanguy Ndombele. Dejected Ajax fans poured out of the stadium subsequently. The two clubs shall meet again next week on Wednesday at the Stadio Diego Maradona, where Napoli will hope to put on another dominant display.
Napoli Continue Remarkable Pursuit of European Glory
Napoli, unequivocally, is one of the best sides in Europe right now. They are atop their Champions League group, having demolished every opponent. They sit atop the Serie A table and are genuine contenders to win something this season.
Let us wait and find out as Napoli continues its remarkable pursuit of European Glory