In-form Haller keeps Ajax unbeaten after Besiktas win
Paris (AFP) –
Ivory Coast striker Sebastien Haller took his tally to 10 goals in as many games this season as Ajax beat Besiktas 2-0 to move top of group C in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Haller, who joined the Dutch league holders from West Ham in January, kneed home his effort just before the break after midfielder Steven Berghuis had opened the scoring at the Johan Cruyff ArenA.
The 27-year-old's efforts this term have helped Erik ten Hag's side to the summit of the Eredivisie.
They are also three points clear of Borussia Dortmund in Europe, with the Germans hosting Sporting Lisbon later.
"We should have scored that third goal, it would have been much easier. Unfortunately that didn't happen," Ajax captain Dusan Tadic told broadcaster RTL7.
"The good thing was we kept a clean sheet," he added.
Netherlands playmaker Berghuis opened the scoring, and claimed his second goal of the season, after 17 minutes as he made the most of some questionable Turkish marking in the box before firing home.
Haller's contribution came two minutes before half-time as with an unorthodox finish from a swinging Berghuis cross.
Elsewhere, Serie A champions Inter Milan remain winless in Europe this season following the 0-0 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk.
Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk was a spectator in Kiev days after beating Anthony Joshua on points to become just the third boxer after Evander Holyfield of the United States and Britain's David Haye to win both the cruiserweight and heavyweight world titles
The home team's attacker Lassina Traore was stretchered off after 11 minutes following a collision with Netherlands winger Dumfries.
Burkina Faso international's right leg and ankle were caught under Dumfries' body before the 20-year-old was helped off the pitch with his hands covering his face. He was replaced by Tete.
The best of the first half chances fell to Nicolo Barella as the Inter midfielder hit the crossbar with a shot after a quarter of an hour.
Inter were inches away from the winner with three minutes left as Shakhtar goalkeeper and captain Andriy Pyatov tipped Joaquin Correa's curling shot past the post.
"We wanted the three points, we went close to winning, we're a bit disappointed by the result," Inter defender Milan Skriniar told Sky Sport.
"It wasn't easy, I am happy with how my team-mates defended."
Inter are third, with Shakhtar bottom before leaders Sheriff Tiraspol, making their maiden appearance in the tournament, play at 13-time winners Real Madrid.
The pick of the late ties pits May's runners up Manchester City against Paris Saint-Germain with Parisians starting at home with an attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in a re-match of last season's semi-final.
© 2021 AFP