Amsterdam (AFP) – Sebastien Haller scored his sixth Champions League goal in three games as Ajax took firm control of their group with a ruthless display at home as they routed Borussia Dortmund 4-0 on Tuesday.
Ajax are on course for the last 16 with three wins out of three European games and Haller remains the competition’s top scorer after netting their fourth goal of the night with a crisp header.
The Ivory Coast forward scored four goals against Sporting Lisbon on his stunning Champions League debut last month, then also hit the net against Besiktas.
The result sees the Dutch champions top Group C, three points ahead of Dortmund as both clubs came into the tie with two straight wins.
Ajax dominated in Amsterdam thanks to an own goal by Dortmund captain Marco Reus and a superb strike by Daley Blind, which made it 2-0 at half-time.
Ajax’s Brazil winger Antony grabbed the hosts’ third by curling his shot into the corner before Haller’s header underlined Dortmund’s demolition.
The German club rarely got out of their half despite efforts to get the ball to their towering striker Erling Braut Haaland.
There were signs of what was to come when only brilliant timing by Mats Hummels blocked a shot by Antony, then Blind forced a great save from Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel.
The hosts took the lead after 11 minutes when Dusan Tadic fired in a free-kick and Reus watched in horror as his attempt to head clear saw the ball fly past Kobel into the Dortmund net.
Ajax doubled their lead when Haller laid the ball off to Blind who fired inside the post with 25 minutes gone.
Only a superb display by Kobel denied Ajax a bigger lead as they went into the half-time break 2-0 up.
Dortmund’s best chance came early in the second half when Haaland rattled the crossbar after Ajax goalkeeper Remko Pasveer parried his shot.
It was only a brief respite as Ajax grabbed their third goal approaching the hour mark when Antony found enough space to curl his shot into the top corner.
It summed up Dortmund’s night when Haaland finally had a clear chance in the area, only to be denied by Pasveer’s superb save.
It became a rout when Haller was left unmarked to head in Ajax’s fourth 18 minutes from time to delight the passionate home crowd in Amsterdam.