Borussia Dortmund defeated Ajax 4-1 in Amsterdam with a comprehensive performance that guaranteed them a spot in the Champions League Round of 16. How good was Dortmund? They finished the match with five shots on goal and four of them went in.
The story of the first half was all about Ajax having the lion share of the ball, doing nothing with it, and failing to defend well in those moments where Dortmund were able to attack.
Dortmund opened the scoring in the 8th minute as Mario Götze worked down the right side, patiently waiting for Marco Reus to make his run. Once Reus accelerated in to the box, Götze put the ball right in his stride and Reus did the rest, beating Kenneth Vermeer for short range.
The Germans had a what looked like it would become a brilliant chance for second goal in the 32nd minute after Götze made a splendid run all the way from the other side of midfield, only to get his foot stuck on the ball just outside the Ajax box and lose possession. Jürgen Klopp had to laugh the play, likely in an attempt to deal with the frustrating fact that Dortmund had two players in support on the run and a numerical advantage over the defense.
Götze made up for the mistake in the 36nd minute, collecting a long ball from Mats Hummels on the left side before working in to the Ajax box. Two defenders failed to close down the space in front of Götze and he placed a shot right between them that passed between the near post and a diving Vermeer to put Dortmund up 2-0.
Dortmund weren't done. After all, why score two when you can score three? Or four?
In the 41st minute, Götze's shot from outside the box took a deflection, forcing Vermeer to make a diving save. The Ajax keeper left a big rebound though that Robert Lewandowski raced on to and tapped in to the open goal, giving Dortmund a 3-0 advantage right before halftime.
Dortmund added a fourth in the second half after Götze found Lewandowski alone on the right side of the Ajax box. Lewandowski brought the ball down and then beat Vermeer with a low hard shot from an extreme angle that pinged off the far post and in to the net.
Ajax got a consolation goal in the 86th minute when Danny Hoesen's shot was slightly deflected by Neven Subotic, sending it past Roman Weidenfeller.
The loss ends Ajax's chances of advancing in the Champions League, but they'll still have a chance to claim a Europa League place in the final match day in two weeks.