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Ajax were good but we made them look better by not turning up, claims Eriksen

Sore point: Christian Eriksen
Sore point: Christian Eriksen

By Steve Simpson

Frustrated midfielder Christian Eriksen lamented a sub-par performance from his side and claimed that Tottenham made Ajax look good in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final in London.

Spurs head to Amsterdam for the return leg a goal down after Donny van de Beek scored the only goal of the game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

It was another painfully off-colour performance from Tottenham, who have now lost back-to-back games at their new home and will need to improve drastically to stand a chance of turning things around in the second leg to reach the final.

"We were under-par, we didn't play our best at all. In the first 20 minutes, we were ball-watchers. We need to change it up a lot for the next game," blasted Eriksen.

"We made them look a lot better. They are a good side, but we helped them along the way. It was our fault. We were better in the second half.

"At the start, the system didn't matter. The change gave us a different way to press, to play more direct. But we were still far from where we know we can be.

"No one wanted to play the first half we did. Everyone knew we didn't compete. We still lost, but we were better in the second half.

"We can't keep talking about injured players. In a semi-final it doesn't matter who plays, we have to step up. We're lucky they hit the post and hopefully we can turns things around in Amsterdam."

However, what will be concerning for Spurs is that goalscorer Van de Beek believes Ajax are much in the same boat.

The 22-year-old was a livewire and was the difference maker when he beat the offside trap early in the first half to score the only goal of the game, however he insisted that there's still more to come from the Dutch side too.

"The first 30 minutes we played really well. After that, Tottenham changed something tactically and we had problems," admitted the Netherlands international, whose strike was his 20th senior goal for the club.

"The 1-0 is okay and next week we have to finish it.

"The beginning was good, but after that we played not what we can. We have to make a good plan for next week.

"We have to stay calm. I don't know what they will do in the next game. We can do better and we have to watch for next week."

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