In the first leg of the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, Tottenham Hotspur hosted the Dutch side of Ajax Amsterdam. Spurs had previously eliminated Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, while the young Ajax team knocked out Real Madrid and Juventus out of this competition. Naturally, both teams are vying for a place in the final in Madrid. However, thanks to a 1-0 victory in this game, Ajax are now in an advantageous for the second leg. This tactical analysis will explain the reasons for Ajax’ great victory over Tottenham.


UEFA Champions League 2018/19: Tottenham vs Ajax tactical analysis analysis
Starting XI’s

With Harry Kane and Heung Min Son missing, Mauricio Pochettino decided to use a 3-5-2 formation with Lucas Moura and Fernando Llorente up-front. After the game, Pochettino said he got his tactics wrong. We will elaborate on the reasons later on.

Ajax coach Erik ten Haag started with a 4-2-3-1 formation, which has succeeded throughout the season. Joël Veltman played at right-back instead of Noussair Mazraoui meant more stability instead of attacking power.

To read the full tactical breakdown of this match – click here

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