Champions League roundup: Ajax and Inter crash out after home defeats

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  • Valencia beat Dutch champions 1-0 in Amsterdam
    • Dortmund progress as Ansu Fati becomes youngest scorer

Guardian sport and agencies

Ajax’s players slump on the pitch after their defeat against Valencia. Photograph: Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty

Last season’s beaten semi-finalists Ajax were the big casualties from the Champions League group stage as the Dutch champions crashed out following their 1-0 defeat at home to Valencia.

Rodrigo scored the game’s only goal in the 24th minute to eliminate Ajax, who were the fairytale story of last season’s competition with their giant-slaying run from the early preliminary rounds to the semi-final. They had needed only to draw their last group game to advance to the last-16 but looked flat and listless in going down to the Spanish side, who ended with 10 men after the sending off of Gabriel Paulista in stoppage time. They now drop down to the Europa League after finishing third.

Rodrigo buried the ball into the top right-hand corner after being teed up by a clever dummy from Ferran Torres, who first feinted to shoot before passing.

Elsewhere Borussia Dortmund beat Slavia Prague 2-1 with goals from Jadon Sancho and Julian Brandt to advance to the Champions League knockout stage, leaving Internazionale in third place in Group F.

The win put the Germans, who also had their keeper Roman Buerki to thank, for more than half a dozen sensational saves, on 10 points in second place, three ahead of Inter who lost 2-1 to the group winners Barcelona, who had already qualified. At 17 years and 40 days Ansu Fati became the youngest goalscorer in Champions League history when he found the net with five minutes to play.

Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball)

No Messi? No problem

At 17 years and 40 days old Barcelona wonderkid Ansu Fati becomes the youngest Champions League goalscorer ever 😲

Remember the name. pic.twitter.com/44n6rliMT0

December 10, 2019

Sancho put the hosts ahead in the 10th and Dortmund could have added at least two more when Marco Reus twice had only the keeper Ondrej Kolar to beat but was denied on both occasions.

A late comeback from Lyon took the French side through in Group G. Memphis Depay found the back of the net eight minutes from time after Hassem Aouar’s superb second-half goal had reduced the deficit against RB Leipzig.

Benfica will play in the Europa League knockout phase after finishing ahead of Zenit St Petersburg thanks to a better head-to-head record following a 3-0 home win against the Russian side.

 

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