Valencia’s Rodrigo scored the only goal as they beat hosts Ajax Amsterdam 1-0 on Tuesday to finish top of Champions League Group H and knock out the Dutch title winners from this season’s champions league competition.
The strike on the 24th-minute from the Brazilian-born Spain international saw Valencia finish ahead of Chelsea in the group H.
Ajax, who had a great run-in last season’s competition with their giant-slaying run from the early preliminary rounds right through to the semi-final, needed only to draw their last group game to advance to the last-16 although Valencia put paid to that whilst they looked flat and lazy going down to the Spanish side, who ended with 10 men after the sending off of Gabriel Paulista in injury time.
The Dutch champions will now drop down to the Europa League after finishing third.
Rodrigo’s strike was the game’s key moment as buried the ball into the top right-hand corner of the Ajax goal after being linedup by a clever dummy from team mate Ferran Torres, who first made a superb dummy to shoot before passing to Rodrigo, it was a superb goal which totally out foxed the Ajax keeper and defenders.
It was an unexpected win by Valencia away from home but a fantastic result for Spanish football as the club go through to the final stages, although the game was marred by Valencia centre back Paulista getting sent off for an attempted headbutt in a scrappy melee deep into time at the end.