Ajax has crowned Sunday’s debut of coach Erik ten Hag and left back Nico Tagliafico with a convincing win against arch-rival Feyenoord. The Classic ended with a 2-0 score in the Amsterdam ArenA. After a scoreless first half, Ajax struck straight away in the second half. Donny van de Beek opened the score, followed quickly by Klaas Jan Huntelaar’s 2-0.
Thanks to the second Classic win of the season, Ajax seems to have put an end to Feyenoord’s dreams of winning the title. Ajax, the Eredivisie’s number 2 team, is now 12 points ahead of the Rotterdam team, who have a match in hand. The Ajacieds are gaining on leader PSV, with a gap of just 2 points. The Brabant team will play at Heracles later this afternoon.
Exact copy of 3 months ago
The first half was similar to the first game on October 22. Three months ago, the first half wasn’t great, either. That match was marked by stride, fouls, and yellow cards. This also proved true at as Ajax resumed competition play in this game.
Ajax was dominant and often had possession, but was plagued by ‘half chances’. The first big opportunity, in fact, was for Feyenoord. Keeper Andre Onana made a feline save on a header by the free Steven Berghuis. Right before the break, Ajax made two attempts: David Neres was called back after being offside, and later on, a shot from a pass on the right was saved at the line.
Danger from the flanks
The second half featured more fireworks. Ajax started off much more sharply and sprinted out of the starting blocks. The reward came quickly in the form of 2 goals, both set up by a wing defender. First, Tagliafico made his mark at the front. His pass was touched by a Rotterdam team member’s leg, and ended up exactly in Van de Beek’s path. The midfielder didn’t falter as he came head to head with goalie Brad Jones.
The Australian goalie was also unable to make a save after a lightning quick attack on the flank in the 53rd minute. Hakim Ziyech served Joël Veltman, who then accelerated past Tyrell Malacia. The assist was taylor-made and gave Huntelaar his 7th goal of the season.
Red card Jørgensen
Ajax was sitting pretty, but had another stroke of luck after 60 minutes. Feyenoord striker Nicolai Jørgensen received his second yellow card after a wild tackle on Veltman. The match was thus definitely over. Ajax wanted to treat its home crowd to yet another goal, but, despite creating several dangerous moments, was unable to do so – but nobody was complaining.