Ajax do not shine in first match under Blind

Ajax do not shine in first match under Blind

The worst-case scenario that new coach Danny Blind wanted to avoid in his first match, came true after all. Ajax suffered their worst home loss in the club's history by going down 0-4 to PSV.

Until last season, Ajax always struggled against PSV in the Amsterdam ArenA. Only last year Ajax won (2-1), but before that PSV were the strongest six times and once the teams drew. Blind made no great changes in his first match at the helm, but he did re-insert Rafael van der Vaart in the starting line-up and chose Ryan Babel as striker instead of Angelos Charisteas. ,,I'm trying to look ahead, because it's no use changing too many things now. I'm not worried about next season, then we'll be fine, but I worried that the worst-case scenario would come true today.”

It did not seem that way early on, as both teams played the waiting game. The first chance was for Ajax after 20 minutes when Julien Escudé crossed to Babel who headed the ball in the side netting.

Five minutes later, Ajax were down 1-0. André Ooijer went right through Ajax's defence and found Philip Cocu all alone. Cocu headed the ball behind goalkeeper Bogdan Lobont.

Ajax seemed to draw level in the 34th minute when Hatem Trabelsi combined with Babel and fired just wide of the goal. It seemed that Ajax would go into halftime with a small deficit when the two minutes added time were up and referee Braamhaar was about to whistle for halftime; but he only did that two minutes later, when PSV had made it 0-2. Mark van Bommel was left uncovered after a set-piece in the 49th minute.

John Heitinga had a chance to bring Ajax back into the match right after halftime when he came on, but goalkeeper Gomes saved his header. When Braamhaar awarded PSV a penalty after a normal challenge from Maxwell on Farfán in the 55th minute, and Van Bommel converted the spot kick, Ajax were down and out. PSV's captain then proceeded to humiliate the young Ajax players by also scoring PSV's fourth goal. It was fitting that all PSV's goals were made by midfielders. ,,It's no news that PSV have a better midfield than Ajax", Blind said. ,,PSV have the experience and the cleverness that we don't have. They know exactly when to up the pace or slow it down."

Although there was half an hour left to play, the score did not change. ,,I was not shocked by PSV, but I was shocked that the weaknesses of this team were exposed like this. I knew where our weaknesses lie, but I cannot change that in three days. The goal to qualify for the Champions League, reamains unchanged, but is now more difficult to attain. We are now seven points behind AZ'', said Blind.