Ajax thrash Lille 3-0 to open Champions League account

Ajax’s new signings have scored as last season’s semifinalist opened its Champions League account by thrashing Lille 3-0 in their opening game.

Netherlands international Quincy Promes opened the scoring in the 18th minute, Mexican midfielder Edson Alvarez doubled the lead five minutes after the break and defender Nicolas Tagliafico added the third in the 62nd as Ajax cruised to victory.

Ajax sold the two biggest stars of last season’s run to the semifinals, Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona and Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus, and was missing two more of last season’s standouts through injury — attacking midfielder Donny van de Beek and right back Noussair Mazraoui.

But new signings Promes and Alvarez made sure they were not missed at the Johan Crujff Arena.

Promes capitalized on shaky defending to head home a cross by Tagliafico, Alvarez rounded off a long spell of Ajax possession by slamming a powerful shot past Mike Maignan in the Lille goal and Tagliafico headed a corner powerfully into the goal to seal the victory.

Lille at times looked dangerous, with speedy forwards Jonathan Ikone and Victor Osimhen a threat on the break, but both missed good chances and Jonathan Bamba blasted wildly over the bar after another swift counterattack.

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