Ajax end Barcelona run to stay in contention in Champions League

Reuters , Tuesday 26 Nov 2013

Ajax Amsterdam kept themselves in contention for progress to the next round of the Champions League after becoming the first side to beat Barcelona this season with a 2-1 triumph in their Group H match on Tuesday

Ajax's Joel Veltman, left and Daley Blind celebrate after Thulani Serero scored during the Group H Champions League soccer match between Ajax and FC Barcelona at the ArenA stadium in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday Nov. 26, 2013. (Photo: AP)

Thulani Serero and Danny Hoesen scored to give Ajax a surprise halftime lead but straight after the break defender Joel Veltman was red carded for a tackle on Neymar and Xavi pulled a goal back from the penalty spot.

Injury-plagued Barcelona applied pressure in search of an equaliser but Ajax held out to thunderous applause from a capacity Amsterdam Arena.

Ajax stay third in the group, one point behind AC Milan, who they must now beat away on Dec. 11 if they are to advance.

Barcelona, without injured Lionel Messi, still need one point to make sure of top place in the group but were already through to the knockout phase before Tuesday's game. 

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