UCL: Bassey Shows Class In Champions League Debut Against Rangers

Bassey showed class with a top-notch defensive display and an assist during his debut Champions League game.

Super Eagles defender Calvin Bassey made his debut Champions League appearance on Wednesday in Ajax’s comprehensive 4-0 rout of his former side Rangers at the Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam.

Bassey follows in the footsteps of Nigerian Icons, Nwankwo Kanu and Finidi George.

Ajax, under the new manager, Alfred Schreuder, began their UCL campaign on a winning note with Edson Alvarez, Steven Berghuis, Mohammed Kudus, and Steven Bergwijn getting on the score sheet for the four-time European winners.

Meanwhile, Nigerian defender Bassey proved his class during the entire game with an assist to show for his complete display.

Bassey played in the centre-back position alongside Jurrie Timber, with the duo of Daley Blind and Devyne Rensch on the left and right sides, respectively.

Bassey not only excelled in his defensive job for his club but he was also involved in their attacks.

In the 12th minute, Bassey was involved in Steven Bergwijn’s shot towards the edge of the post. Two minutes later, Bassey blocked his former teammate, Antonio Colak, from reaching the Ajax box.

With the offensive attempts from Ajax, they forced an attack that led to the second corner of the game, which also led to the opener. Alvarez put the hosts in front with a header to Steven Berghuis’s corner in the 17th minute.

Despite the departure of Ajax manager, Erik Ten Hag, the team seemed to be unchanged with their high-pressing style of play.

Four minutes later, Ajax put Jon McLaughlin, but the Rangers’ goalkeeper was quick to save the attempt. Another one-on-one attempt by both Blind and Kudus failed to get its last touch as the Rangers’ goalkeeper salvaged the chance.

Rangers’ players tried to resonate with the attacks from Ajax but failed to go past Blind in the 25th minute.

Berghuis, who assisted the first goal, scored the second from an assist from Mohamed Kudus that was deflected by James Sands in the 32nd minute.

Two minutes later, Ajax scored the third goal. It came from Bassey’s cross that got to Kudus, who spun past Rangers’ defender Tavernier before sending his shot past McLaughlin.

Towards the end of the first half, Bassey prevented Kent from making an attack with a shield on the ball.

In the second half, Rangers made a triple substitution with Leon King, Rabbi Matondo and Ryan King coming in.

In the 48th minute, Bassey gave away a free kick for an infringement on Matondo, but he prevented Sands from getting a clear header on goal.

A chance from Rangers to get a consolation got shrugged off after Colak failed to connect with Matondo’s cross in the 67th minute.

A minute later, Ajax launched an attack through Dusan Tadic, who sent a low pass to Berghuis, who struck from the right side of the box, but McLaughlin made a great save.

Rangers’ joy for a consolation goal was short-lived after Borna Barisic’s goal was ruled out for offside after Kent strayed marginally offside.

The last 10 minutes of the game saw Ajax score their fourth goal from new-signing Bergwijn who intercepted Goldson’s short pass and drove past McLaughlin to score. However, he couldn’t celebrate his Champions League debut goal for Ajax following a hamstring injury incurred while scoring the goal.

Elsewhere, Europa League winners, Eintracht Frankfurt continued their shoddy start to the season as they fell after 3-0 at home to Sporting Lisbon.

Second-half goals from Marcus Edwards, Trincao and Nuno Santos helped the visitors return to Portugal with three points in the bag.

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