Ajax secured two valuable away goals, Qarabag registered a rare away win and Ferencváros secured a priceless draw on their travels. That was the third qualifying round of the Champions League which had all the twists and turns. Here are the Winners and Losers. Bet on the Champions League here.
Ajax were last season’s story in the Champions League. On Tuesday night they drew 2-2 in their first leg of the third qualifying round of the competition against Greek champions PAOK. The Dutch giants were down 2-1 at the end of the first half but a 57th-minute goal from Klaas Jan Huntelaar saw them rescue a draw. With most of their best players from last season gone, the performance wasn’t bad and Erik ten Hag’s men will hope to finish the job at home where they’re always rampant.
Azerbaijan champions Qarabag registered a priceless away win over APOEL Nicosia in the first leg. Talisman Mahir Emreli opened the scoring for the visitors before Magaye Gueye sealed the deal for them in the 69th minute. Qarabag were heading for a win and a clean sheet but a lapse in concentration saw the hosts score at the death. However, this win is massive for Qarabag. It is their first away win in five matches in this competition and should look to finish the job at home next week.
Both Teams to Score
With five matches lined up on Tuesday night, four of them saw both teams find the back of the net. Only Club Brugge v Dynamo Kyiv Both Teams to Score fail. Qarabag’s match against APOEL would’ve ended with one team scoring but a last-minute intervention by Giorgos Merkis saw it end 2-1 in favour of the visitors. Overall Both Teams to Score was never in doubt in four of those matches.
Crvena Zvezda failed to use home advantage in the first leg of the third qualifying round, as they drew 1-1 with FC Copenhagen. Zvezda’s solid home record was looking great last night until Copenhagen scored a penalty in the 84th minute to ensure the home side won’t be taking the win. Although this tie is not over yet, this will feel like a missed opportunity for them which now gives them a huge task away from home.
Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb have endured torment at this stage of the competition in recent years. On Tuesday night they failed to get past Ferencváros, a team that was playing at this stage for the first time since 2004. A 1-1 draw against the Hungarians is not good enough and the second leg won’t be that easy. Zagreb last played in the competition in 2016 where they lost all their group matches. Therefore, Zagreb will have to up their game away from home in the second leg.
Over 2.5 Goals bettors
Just two matches in Tuesday’s fixtures saw Over 2.5 Goals. Although both teams scored in four of those matches, they couldn’t just score more. Ajax against PAOK was a goal fest. It ended 2-2 and it should've been more given the fourth goal was scored in the 57th minute. All in all, Over 2.5 Goals market was not a good one.