Ajax dismantle poor Sporting side
Champions League football returned once again this evening as the second half of opponents began their 2021-22 group stage campaigns. While all the focus will have, from British points of view, on Liverpool and Manchester City, Ajax quietly had a fantastic start to proceedings.
The Dutch outfit were facing Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon, and wasted no time in taking an early lead. Ajax opened the scoring after just two minutes, before doubling their advantage before 10 minutes had even been played.
02′: Sporting 0-1 Ajax
09′: Sporting 0-2 Ajax
33′: Sporting 1-2 Ajax
39′: Sporting 1-3 Ajax
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) September 15, 2021
While Sporting got one back just after the half hour mark, the Amsterdam side retook their two-goal advantage six minutes later on their way to a 5-1 rout in Portugal.
Haller equals 30-year-old record and sets his own
The undoubted star of the show was former West Ham man Sebastien Haller, who Ajax forgot to register upon signing him last January.
This meant that tonight marked his Champions League debut, and he took full advantage of it, netting an astounding four times.
The goal haul represents only the second time that a player has netted four on debut, following in the footsteps of Dutch great Marco Van Basten, who set the record 30 years ago.
Only two players in Champions League history have scored four goals on their UCL debut:
◉ Marco van Basten (1992)
◉ Sébastien Haller (2021)
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 15, 2021
Haller also set his own record too, however, becoming the first player in the history of the Champions League to score a brace in his first 9 minutes of play, a record that will surely take some beating.
— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) September 15, 2021
With West Ham crying out for a backup striker, did they cash in on their 45 million pound man too soon?
On tonight’s evidence, it certainly seems so.