Jose Mourinho’s stats speak for himself – He has never lost a match against Ajax.
In the past 6 games he played against Ajax, all of them as the manager of Real Madrid in the Champions League, the Spanish team has been victorious in every single one of them.
After almost throwing away an opportunity to play in the finals of the Europa League this Thursday against Celta Vigo, Manchester United now look to play against the Dutch team in Stockholm, where the finals would be held.
After surviving the semi-finals, Jose Mourinho was asked about the status of his team, and whether he believes he can continue the run.
Speaking to MUTV, he said: “It means nothing. A final is a final and I played Ajax with Real Madrid all the six matches. It will be difficult. They are a young team, strong team and they finish their league this weekend.”
There are multiple issues Manchester United would have to deal with. Having to play 3 games in a space of 12 days with an already diminishing squad and a growing injury list might take a toll.
Ajax, on the other hand, have 12 days to prepare for the finals of the Europa League, and boast of one of the youngest teams to play in Europe, with an average age of 22 years.
We look back at every game Jose Mourinho has played against Ajax with Real Madrid:
1. Real Madrid 2-0 Ajax (2010-11 season)
In the 2010-11 UEFA Champions League, Ajax and Real Madrid were put in the same pool, group G. Jose Mourinho, having joined Real Madrid that very year, played a strong line-up with an attacking mindset.
The first goal came from a surprising own goal by Ajax’s Vurnon Anita. Gonzalo Higuain then sealed the deal in the later minutes by slotting home another goal to end the game.
2. Ajax 0-4 Real Madrid (2010-11 season)
The second game was also a group game in the Champions league in the same season, this time at Amsterdam Arena.
Having learned from his previous game against the Dutch side, he employed a fast team and begun to play on the counter-attack.
The quality of the players, along with the continuous barrage of attacks, proved to be too much for the home team. A Cristiano Ronaldo brace, along with goal-a-piece for Benzema and Arbeloa meant Real Madrid comfortably led the group G.
3. Real Madrid 3-0 Ajax (2011-12 season)
This time again, for the second consecutive year, they were put in the same group with the Spanish giants, in group D. The first game was played at Santiago Bernabeu, where Jose Mourinho clearly proved why he was known as master a tactician.
With a team in disposal with players like Kaka, Benzema and Ronaldo playing in a very good form, they easily scored a goal each. Ozil, Khedira and Xabi Alonso were among the players who maintained the structure and continuous pressure despite the high line defense, counter-attacking with venom.
4. Ajax 0-3 Real Madrid (2011-12 season)
With Mourinho understandably having understood the secret formula to play against Ajax, and the almost certain qualification into the round of 16, the Spanish side played a slightly weakened team. The score remained the same, and as the previous game at Bernabeu, Real Madrid completely dominated over Ajax.
Callejon scored twice and Higuain scored once as Real Madrid took home yet another easy victory.
5. Ajax 1-4 Real Madrid (2012-13 season)
Yet again, in the group stages. By now one might even predict how the game may go – A Cristiano Ronaldo masterclass blew away the Dutch side at their very home. A Benzema goal and a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick, despite the multiple number of chances which had hit the post or were saved by the Ajax keeper Vermeer, clearly indicated the dominance Real asserted throughout the game.
It almost felt as if Real Madrid were a solid wall between Ajax and the top 16.
6. Real Madrid 4-1 Ajax (2012-13 season)
Scoreline remains the same, just the location changes. Frank de Boer’s Ajax side couldn’t do much as Real Madrid continued with the tried and tested formula – High pressing, continuous pressure, and playing on the counter attack.
Ronaldo and Kaka scored one goal each as Callejon scored a brace to close yet another easy game for Real, and yet another attempt at the UCL Round of 16 spot thwarted for Ajax.
Written by Srivats Venkateswaran