The 1971 European Cup final at Wembley Stadium witnessed a compelling showdown between Dutch giants Ajax and Greek underdogs Panathinaikos. Marking Ajax’s second appearance in the final after a previous defeat to AC Milan in 1969, the match was Panathinaikos’ maiden foray into the prestigious European Cup arena.
Both teams traversed through an arduous journey, overcoming four rounds of challenging encounters to earn their spot in the final showdown. While Ajax impressively secured victories with a comfortable goal margin, Panathinaikos navigated their path through close encounters, relying on the away goals rule to secure their quarter-final and semi-final triumphs.
The grand final unfolded in front of a fervent audience of 83,179 at Wembley, with Ajax seizing an early advantage as Dick van Dijk netted a crucial goal in the 5th minute. Ajax’s relentless pursuit of victory was rewarded as Arie Haan’s shot in the 87th minute deflected off defender Anthimos Kapsis and found its way into the Panathinaikos net. With a final score of 2-0 in their favor, Ajax clinched their first-ever European Cup victory, etching their name in the annals of football history with a memorable triumph on the grand stage of Wembley Stadium.