Ajax and AC share spoils in Holland

Mounir El Hamdaoui gave Ajax the lead in the 24th minute before

former Ajax hero Zlatan Ibrahimovic levelled for the Rossoneri in

the 37th. Milan frustrated the home team, who were more vibrant

from start to finish but failed to find a way through, forcing them

to settle for their first point in the Champions League this

season. Ajax stormed out of the blocks and pegged Milan back with

the lively Luis Suarez tormenting Luca Antonini down the right

wing. Even when there was not a chance to shoot, he managed to find

one with a dipping and curling volley from 25 yards out wide to the

right which had Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati tracking back

with a sense of urgency, although the ball still cleared the

crossbar by several feet. Ajax’s relentless pressure was punctuated

by a shot from Robinho which Maarten Stekelenburg almost fumbled

into the path of Ibrahimovic in the 15th minute. The home side took

a deserved lead in the 24th minute with Suarez flicking the ball

through the legs of Alessandro Nesta before pulling it back from

the byline to El Hamdaoui. The Moroccan turned full circle inside

the six-yard box before blasting a shot into the roof of the net.

Milan should have levelled on the half-hour mark when Robinho beat

the offside trap to bear down on Stekelenburg. The Brazil striker

looked composed, but the impression was deceptive as he placed his

shot almost negligently wide of the post after Stekelenburg had

already gone to ground. Ajax’s next chance fell to their

goalscorer, but his shot was saved easily at his near post by

Abbiati. The hosts were then caught out on a counter-attack once

again and this time they were not let off the hook. Clarence

Seedorf squared the ball to Ibrahimovic, who only just managed to

remain onside as he chested it down before volleying with venom

past Stekelenburg to silence the fans who once celebrated him. The

hosts showed the same intensity in the second half with Suarez

continuing to cause problems inside the Milan penalty area. Nesta

made amends for his earlier error by stealing the ball ahead of El

Hamdaoui before he could shoot in the 57th minute while his central

defensive partner Thiago Silva was also earning his money as Ajax

continued to probe. Yet just like in the first half when only Ajax

seemed capable of scoring, it was Milan who came closest to doing

so in the 84th minute. Ibrahimovic stole the ball inside the

penalty area and stroked it across the face of goal to Kevin-Prince

Boateng, who aimed for the opposite corner from a tight angle, but

Stekelenburg made a stunning one-handed save to deny him.