American Sergino Dest, 18, earns Man of the Match in Champions League start
Sergino Dest vs. APOEL
In his first ever Champions League start, Dest, the 18 year-old American, was awarded Man of the Match by the home crowd at the Johan Cruyff Arena following a brilliant performance for home side Ajax. Ziyech certainly deserved the honor and it was a testament to his performance. He was brilliant as soon as he stepped on the pitch.
Ajax defeated Greek champions APOEL Nicosia in the first leg of the final qualifying round of the Champions League.
No American player had a more significant start this month than Sergiño Dest. His stock continues to rise at a ridiculous rate.
Last week, Dest started on the bench in Ajax’s matchup with PAOK in the fourth qualifying round for the UEFA Champions League group stage. With the score tied at 1-1 at the half (and 3-3 on aggregate), Dest subbed on with Erik Ten Hag. Ajax scored two second half goals for a 3-2 win.
Dest followed that up with his first league start for the Dutch giants on Saturday at VVV-Venlo. He nearly opened the scoring in the first half but was denied well by the Venlo keeper. Dest put in a strong performance in their dominant 4-1 win.
Is Ibrahimovic making pitch for a Premier League return?
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is currently tied for second in the MLS for most goals scored this season with 22, five behind LAFC’s Carlos Vela. Ibrahimovic, who is having another brilliant season for the LA Galaxy, recently hinted he can still play at the highest level. The Swedish striker, now 37, recently said: “I could easily still play in Premier League. If United need me, I’m here.”
United, meanwhile, have let Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez leave this summer as they try and rebuild under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and 17-year-old Mason Greenwood are now their only senior striking options.
‘I could play easily in the Premier League. So if United needs me, I’m here,’ Ibrahimovic said. ‘But Galaxy has me so I’m sorry.’
Seventeen months have passed since Ibrahimovic left Old Trafford, in which time United have slipped further behind rivals Manchester City and Liverpool.
Here we go: Champions League draw is completed
At first glance, it looks like an excellent draw for Liverpool, a decent one for City, and a tricky one for Spurs and Chelsea. Group F and Group D have the most intrigue.
- Group A Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Club Brugge, Galatasaray.
- Group B Bayern Munich, Tottenham Hotspur, Olympiacos, Red Star Belgrade.
- Group C Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb, Atalanta.
- Group D Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Lokomotiv Moscow.
- Group E Liverpool, Napoli, Salzburg, Genk.
- Group F Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Internazionale, Slavia Prague.
- Group G Zenit Saint Petersburg, Benfica, Lyon, RB Leipzig.
- Group H Chelsea, Ajax, Valencia, Lille.
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