They may have let a two-goal lead slip, but a haul of four points from two meetings with Manchester City FC was ultimately cause for satisfaction for Siem de Jong, the AFC Ajax skipper. A scorer in Ajax's 3-1 win in Amsterdam a fortnight ago, De Jong followed that up with both goals in Tuesday night's 2-2 draw in Manchester and declared that Ajax were "happy to get four points" which leave them well placed to secure at least third place in Group D. His team-mate Christian Eriksen was equally pleased, saying that Ajax had showed "we can be on this level" with their performances against a prestigious City side.
Siem de Jong, Ajax midfielder
It was a great start although we didn't start really well as a team – they had pressed us a little bit back at the beginning so it was good we scored two goals. After the two goals we started to play better, we didn't create any really big chances but had some great combinations. It was too bad they scored in the first half. We were getting better but you knew that in the second half they were going to press. We had some chances on the counter but they were also strong.
[For the first goal] I thought maybe it was going out for a corner but I saw that maybe I could get it. I slid and chipped it as the keeper was coming and it just went in – it was a nice goal. Of course, they had some good chances in the end but we also had some good counters and if we'd played a little better to the free men, maybe we could have got three points. But if you see the whole game they also had good chances. If you said before the game we'd get four points against City you'd think: 'Great.'
We are happy to get four points, now we have to see what we can do in the next two games. It's going to be difficult against Dortmund and Real but we have a great feeling about these two matches. We are going to hopefully qualify for the next round – if we get third in this group with these three other teams it is also a great result but you hope for the best.
Christian Eriksen, Ajax forward
We were 2-0 in front, we should keep that [lead] but if you look at the game they had chances and two disallowed goals. We were a little bit lucky at the end. We had hoped for a good start and luckily we got it, but we knew it would be difficult to hold on to it, although we tried.
We've proved we know how to play football and we can be on this level. We have to keep on – we played very well against Dortmund in the first game but we had no points. Now we have four. To stay in Europe we have to win and that's what we're going to do.
Pablo Zabaleta, City defender
We're a bit disappointed – the result is not good for us, we needed the three points and this way it makes it more difficult to qualify. We started off conceding two goals from set pieces which made it really difficult for us to get something. The team showed a lot of fight and managed to turn it round.
Mathematically, there's still a chance. You always have to stay optimistic, to keep on working. There are two games left and it won't be easy. We know we needed the three points today. It is a very difficult group with teams with a lot of quality. It has been difficult but this is what playing the Champions League is about – you are playing the best and they can beat you.
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