Spartak Moscow 3-0 Ajax: Report
Spartak Moscow eased into the quarter-finals of the Europa League with a dominant performance against Ajax as they triumphed 3-0.
Holding a 1-0 lead from the first leg, goals from Dmitri Kombarov, Welliton and Alex completed a resounding aggregate win to take the Russian club through to the draw in Nyon.
Ajax goalkeeper Jeroen Verhoeven looked to be in for a busy night from the opening minutes when he had to get down low to parry a strike from Yevgeni Makeev.
The Spartak midfielder tried his luck again with seven minutes gone but this time sent a strike from distance past the right post.
Kombarov also fired wide three minutes later before Ajax carved out their first chance, a testing drive from Lorenzo Ebecilio which home goalkeeper Andrei Dikan did well to hold onto.
The visitors were trailing after 21 minutes, though. Alex began the move with a ball into the area which Kombarov struck low into the net from 12 yards out.
Ajax were almost level three minutes later with Christian Eriksen hitting a superb strike from 30 yards which just dipped over the crossbar.
But Spartak were further in front on the half-hour thanks to Welliton, who picked up a pass from Kombarov before tucking the ball into the bottom right corner.
The match was beginning to run away from Ajax, and they had Verhoeven to thank for keeping the scoreline respectable at the interval with two good saves to deny Aiden McGeady and Alex.
A moment of skill produced Spartak's third goal nine minutes after the restart.
Jan Vertonghen's foul on Welliton resulted in a free-kick and Alex obliged with a beautiful left-footed strike from 30 yards which flew over the wall and into the top left corner, despite the best efforts of Verhoeven to keep it out.
The tie was quickly slipping away from Ajax, but Eriksen should have added his name to the scoresheet five minutes later with a right-footed strike which clattered the crossbar.
Aras Ozbiliz also struck the woodwork after 72 minutes, while Dario Cvitanich was thwarted by an agile save from Dikan as luck continued to elude the Amsterdam club.
Dikan continued to have his say as the clock ticked down, tipping away further efforts from Ozbiliz and Siem de Jong.
Spartak had the final chance of the match in stoppage time through Welliton, but the Brazilian's chipped shot over Verhoeven came back off the right post.
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