Going over three months into the year without a defeat isn't too bad, and you might have thought that the Dutch giants would have taken the loss on the chin. After all, they do still have the second leg in Italy to try and turn things around.
However, the ballboys may have been on a different page.
Davy Klaasen had put Ajax ahead in the first half, before Loreno Pellegrini grabbed an important away goal just before an hour of play. That wasn't the end though, with Ibanez popping up with the all important winner in the 87th minute to give Roma a big advantage going into the second leg.
What a hit from Roma central defender Roger Ibanez! :rocket:- Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 8, 2021
Takes it down on his chest and absolutely smashes the ball into the back of the net on the half volley! :boom: pic.twitter.com/UNyIr47CL1
Predictably, this meant that the Italian side immediately began to time waste in the final minutes, which seemed to particularly annoy one extra-committed ballboy.
With Riccardo Calafiori taking his time to pick up the ball for a throw in during added time, the youngster threw another ball at the player without a second thought. He even stood his ground when the professional football player turned his anger on him.
Do not try and waste time in front of Ajax's ballboys :joy: pic.twitter.com/SquvnJRYIy- Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 8, 2021
Just to make matters worse for Calafiori, the referee then gave the 18-year-old a yellow card for time wasting, rubbing salt into the wound.
When the final whistle blew though, Calafiori is sure to have been the happier of the pair with the end result. The 2-1 win at the Johan Cruyff Arena puts Roma into a commanding position, and looking favourites to go through to the semi-finals of the Europa League.
They are likely to find Manchester United their opponents in that match, with the Red Devils winning 2-0 against Granada on the same night. The qualifier of that match will face either Roma or Ajax over the 29 April and 6 May.
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