Champions League Review: Ajax Crash Out, Monaco Cruise

Four-time European champions, Ajax, were bundled out of the 2015-16 UEFA Champions League qualifiers at the third round after losing 5-4 on aggregate to Austrian side Rapid Vienna.

Ajax went into the match two away goals to the good after a 2-2 draw in the first leg but they conceded easy goals from Rapid’s Robert Beric and Louis Schaub in the first half to squander home advantage and leave themselves with a mountain to climb in the second period.

A stunning volley from Arkadiusz Milik and a Nemanja Gudelj strike from the edge of the box levelled the tie at 4-4 on aggregate with 75 minutes played, but Schaub struck again just two minutes later, curling a fine effort into the top corner of the net to end Ajax coach Frank de Boer’s hopes of Champions League qualification, the first time in six seasons the Dutch side have failed to qualify for group stages.

French side AS Monaco had no such problems as they cruised past Young Boys to book their place, winning 4-0 on the night and 7-1 on aggregate.

Ivan Cavaleiro, Layvin Kurzawa, Anthony Martial and Stephan El Shaarawy all scored for Monaco against the Swiss side.

Dinamo Zagreb drew 3-3 at Molde on the night and 4-4 on aggregate, but progressed to the playoffs on away goals, leaving 10-man Molde to rue two missed penalties in the first half.

APOEL lost 1-0 at home to FC Midtjylland in a tie that finished 2-2 on aggregate and saw the Cypriots go through to the play-offs on the strength of the two away goals they scored in the first leg. Erik Sviatchenko put the Danes in front after only three minutes, and then APOEL were reduced to 10 men on the half hour when Vinicius was sent off. 

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