SEVERE WX : Severe Thunderstorm Watch View Alerts

Champions League: Ajax advances amid troubling scenes at AEK Athens

Ajax reached the Champions League knockout phase for the first time in 13 years but the Dutch club's 2-0 win...

Posted: Nov 28, 2018 2:56 PM
Updated: Nov 28, 2018 2:56 PM

Ajax reached the Champions League knockout phase for the first time in 13 years but the Dutch club's 2-0 win at AEK Athens was marred by violent clashes both in and outside the Athens Olympic stadium on Tuesday.

Visiting supporters had to shield themselves from flames during clashes with Greek riot police prior to the start of the game after a petrol bomb and flares were reportedly thrown in the direction of the Ajax fans.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Football (Soccer)

Soccer events

Sports and recreation

Sports events

Sports figures

UEFA Champions League

Athens

Continents and regions

Europe

Greece

Southern Europe

AEK Athens FC

Sports organizations and teams

Superleague Greece

La Liga

Real Madrid CF

Pictures showed Ajax fans clashing with Greek police and at least two supporters being left bloodied.

Eleven people were "hospitalized" with minor injuries, a police spokesman told AFP.

"AEK FC unreservedly and by all means condemns the incidents of violence that took place ... not only because they happened during a match for [the] UEFA Champions League, but also because they insult the long history of our club," said a statement on the Greek club's website.

"We worked very hard in every level in order to return to the most important European club competition; what happened during [the] AFC Ajax home clash does not represent the timeless football philosophy of our club and is completely against our principles and the values we honor and serve.

"The obvious thing is condemning what happened on Tuesday and the most important thing is taking all necessary action in order for such incidents not to take place ever again. We have proved that we know well how to correct our mistakes."

UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against both clubs, while Ajax is yet to comment.

Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt tried to calm things down ahead of the Group E contest. Firecrackers then went off in the second half.

Past history

Disturbances in Greek stadiums are nothing new.

Visit cnn.com/sport for more news and videos

In March the country's Superleague was temporarily suspended when PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis entered the pitch with a gun in the late stages of his team's 0-0 draw against AEK. A PAOK goal had just been disallowed for offside.

He later received a three-year ban from football and PAOK was docked three points.

Three years ago the league was also temporarily suspended when fan trouble erupted in an Athens derby featuring the top two teams in Greece historically, Olympiakos and Panathinaikos.

Read: Liverpool left red-faced by Red Star

Read: Was Ronaldo's bicycle kick greatest goal ever?

Dusan Tadic starred for Ajax on the pitch Tuesday, opening the scoring in the 68th minute from the penalty spot after a handball -- which led to a second yellow card for AEK's Marko Livaja -- and adding the second four minutes later.

Progressing in Europe's top club competition was made more impressive because Ajax -- which won the last of its four titles in 1995 -- had to go through three rounds of qualifying and has long sold its best performers.

It still holds the most Dutch domestic league titles, although PSV leads Ajax by five points this season and has won in three of the past four seasons.

"Ajax deserve to start winning trophies," Tadic was quoted as saying by UEFA. "First we set as a goal that we would go to the Champions League -- we did that. Then we aimed to get to the next stage of the UCL, which we did as well.

"That's how you do it, setting goals and achieving them, in Europe and the Netherlands. We will try our best in all competitions and work hard for trophies."

Ajax will win Group E if it beats Bayern Munich on the final matchday next month.

Real Madrid also through

Real Madrid might be struggling domestically but Los Blancos know how to win trophies in the Champions League being the three-time defending champions.

Real Madrid and Tuesday's opponents Roma were already guaranteed passage into the round of 16 from Group G after CSKA lost to Plzen 2-1 in Moscow but the Spanish outfit still beat last season's semifinalists 2-0 in the Italian capital.

How things though could have been different had Cengiz Under not missed a golden chance for Roma in first-half injury time. A few yards from goal and with keeper Thibaut Courtois stranded, he ballooned over the bar. It was one of the misses of the season.

Gareth Bale proceeded to break the deadlock just moments after the interval -- notching his third Champions League goal of the season -- before Lucas Vazquez doubled the advantage in the 59th.

"We're playing against a side of champions and the difference can be seen when they score with their first chance," Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco was quoted as saying by UEFA.

Real Madrid thus recovered from losing for the first time ever against Eibar last weekend -- a match where Courtois struggled -- in Santi Solari's first game in permanent charge.

The troubles continue however for Di Francesco. Roma sits a staggering 18 points behind Juventus in Serie A and entered Tuesday's game on the back of a shocking 1-0 loss to Udinese, which had lost 10 in a row to The Giallorossi in the league and had just fired its manager.

Half the lineup complete

Eight clubs now find themselves in the last 16: Barcelona -- the lone team through prior to the current matchday -- Bayern Munich, Ajax, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Roma, Juventus and Manchester United.

Manchester United still isn't firing on all cylinders, needing an outstanding David de Gea save and an injury time winner from Marouane Fellaini to beat Young Boys 1-0 at Old Trafford. United trails Juventus by two points in Group H after the 'Old Lady' of Italian football edged Valencia 1-0.

Cristiano Ronaldo assisted on Mario Mandzukic's winner in the 59th minute.

United's city rivals Manchester City, meanwhile, rescued a point when Sergio Aguero netted in the 83rd minute for a 2-2 draw at Lyon in Group F. Robert Lewandowski scored twice for Bayern in its 5-1 win over Benfica and in the process became the seventh player to register 50 Champions League goals overall.

West Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 96°
Kokomo
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 89°
Rensselaer
Mostly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 81°
Fowler
Partly Cloudy
88° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 96°
Williamsport
Partly Cloudy
83° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 89°
Crawfordsville
Partly Cloudy
82° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 88°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
82° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 88°
Delphi
Partly Cloudy
82° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 86°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
82° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 86°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 84°
Severe weather risk, then brief, but substantial cool-down...
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 751242

Reported Deaths: 13795
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1032931788
Lake556911009
Allen41692692
St. Joseph36990565
Hamilton36588417
Elkhart29398461
Tippecanoe22901226
Vanderburgh22556400
Porter19356325
Johnson18471389
Hendricks17682317
Clark13226195
Madison13149344
Vigo12614253
LaPorte12419221
Monroe12207176
Delaware10966198
Howard10321225
Kosciusko9630121
Hancock8576146
Bartholomew8169157
Warrick7860156
Floyd7811180
Grant7242179
Wayne7162201
Boone6966103
Morgan6761141
Dubois6218118
Marshall6209116
Cass6016110
Henry5900110
Dearborn589878
Noble581488
Jackson509076
Shelby501496
Lawrence4742122
Gibson444894
Clinton442355
Harrison441875
DeKalb439885
Montgomery438090
Whitley406543
Huntington402681
Steuben400159
Miami395269
Jasper388054
Knox375991
Putnam372960
Wabash361983
Ripley347170
Adams345555
Jefferson335886
White331953
Daviess3033100
Wells295281
Decatur289992
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273072
Scott270156
Clay267148
Washington246036
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234531
Starke228058
Fountain220948
Sullivan214643
Owen211858
Fulton202942
Jay200932
Carroll193620
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion174844
Franklin170335
Tipton166246
Parke149416
Pike138234
Blackford136232
Pulaski120647
Newton113936
Brown104243
Crawford102516
Benton101714
Martin91715
Warren84015
Switzerland8148
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0420

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events