The Dutch newspapers agree a day after Ajax's 3-2 victory over PAOK Saloniki that the team from Amsterdam still has a lot of work to do. In the Greek press there is talk of shame about arbitration.
Ajax was in arrears in the Johan Cruijff ArenA, but due to two penalties by Dusan Tadic, it turned into a 3-1 lead. In the final minutes it became exciting.
"In the opening phase it became clear that PAOK in the feared switchover again exposed the defensive questions of the team of Erik ten Hag", concludes the AD , which enjoyed the urge of Ajax, but is especially critical.
"A big chance for striker Chuba Akpom from a counter was a warning shot, followed by a Dimitris Pelkas pegel. Also from the switch. It already led to a troubled Johan Cruijff ArenA for the opening goal. No longer merely full of euphoria and bravado, but especially full of doubts. "
The game of Ajax is a reason for de Volkskrant to zoom in once again on the summer departure of a number of important players. "The lack of Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong was obvious," the newspaper writes. "The team lacks length in game resumes, ruthlessness and organizational skills in the back and control and creativity in midfield."
197Veltman after a win at PAOK: 'Ajax is still searching'
"Ajax can only be in fifth gear"
According to Trouw , Ajax has changed little compared to the strong previous season, but it all looks a little less certain in the European team of coach Ten Hag.
"The return in the third preliminary round of the Champions League became, in accordance with the recipe tried last season, another European evening of the highest intensity for Ajax", the daily describes.
"As if the team, whipped up by their own audience, has only one position: straight ahead in fifth gear. It is attractive, entertaining, but also a bit like string dancing on a thin rope. It can go so wrong."
See also: Players Ajax in the final phase against PAOK thought of Tottenham scenario
Greek media furious
The Greek sports newspapers do not understand the decisions of the English referee Craig Pawson, who gave Ajax no fewer than three penalties. Tadic missed the first and used the other two.
"PAOK wanted to surprise in Amsterdam, but the English referee thought differently", is the opinion of Metrosport .
"He gave no less than three penalties, saw no offense against Matos prior to the third and saw a handball overlooked in the final phase. It is remarkable that no repeat of the latter was shown by the Dutch director."
According to Sport24 , arbitrator Pawson also played an important role. "PAOK resisted the pressure of Ajax, which received a lot of help from the referee. The pinnacle was the third penalty, which nobody understood."