Frankly, when I found out that Ajax would be grouped with Real Madrid (again!), Manchester City and Borrusia Dortmund in the group stage of the Champions Leauge, my heart sank. Does Ajax have any chance against these giants? Borrusia Dortmund maybe but Real and City?

The first two results were grim. In the first match, Ajax was unlucky to lose to Dortmund 0-1. Given the tough matches ahead, this was a must win and Ajax wasted it. It appeared, Ajax might even miss the Europa Cup. In the next match,  Real pummeled Ajax 4 to 1. In the third match, which was held earlier today, I had expected City to roll over Ajax.

And no, instead, Ajax streamrolled over City.

I woke up for sleep for a moment after going to bed early. Weary eyes, I picked up my phone and checked the score: Nasri made it one up for City. I went back to bed, expected the worst.

At dawn, weary eyes still, forced to get up by the noisy alarm, I picked the phone again and what I read delighted me.

Not a bad way to start the day.

The unfortunate thing is that things are getting tight because Dortmund beat Real unexpectedly. While that means the qualification spots are wide open, I prefer if Real had won. While that would probably realistic sealed the first spot for Real, leaving only the second spot open, it would be easier to have the second spot wide opened than all spots opened. Reason is simple: the points difference between the second and the third ranked teams in Group D would be smaller in the only-second-spot-is-opened scenario than the scenario of all-spots-are-opened.

Right now, there is a 3-point difference between second-placed Real and third-place Ajax. If Real had won, there would have been only a 1-point difference between Dortmund and Ajax.

Anyway, while I do want to see Ajax qualify into the next round of the Champions League (it has been too long), I think the realistic expectation is to go through the Europa Cup. To do this, Ajax will have to beat City (the next match will be in Manchester, which will be tough. Fighting away from home is also tough; I probably do not mind a draw) and beat Dortmund. Do all that to maintain the third spot.

I am convinced that Ajax can beat Dortmund in Amsterdam later in November.

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