Ajax gain confidence in Breda
Four days after the encouraging performance against Marseille, Ajax showed good form again. NAC were defeated in Breda: 0-3. ,,This gives us confidence", Marco van Basten said.
The fatigue of playing 120 minutes on Wednesday only showed in the opening stages of Sunday's match. After a difficult first 20 minutes, Marco van Basten's team took control and went on to defeat the home side through goals by Thomas Vermaelen, Gregory van der Wiel and Luis Suarez.
But even more so than the goal scorers it was Ismaïl Aissati who played a big part. With his control of the ball and his creativity he was the best player on the pitch. Every time Aissati had the ball, the NAC supporters went quiet: as if they knew that this day, their players would not get him off the ball. ,,Ismaïl provides insight and creativity”, Marco van Basten said. ,,Our midfielders worked well together. Enoh brings physical power, Anita is a smart player and a leader despite his young age. In combination with the way Aissati plays, it all clicks.”
After NAC had had the best chances in the beginning, Ajax became better and better. Aissati found his teammates with clever touches, kept the ball in the team and made many good combinations. Yet the first goal came from a dead-ball moment. In the 35th minute Thomas Vermaelen headed in a cross by Enoh after a short corner.
Ajax never looked back in the second half. After 64 minutes, Ajax went on a quick counter attack and Aissati crossed to Gregory van der Wiel, who made it 0-2 with a hard strike. Luis Suarez made things worse for NAC. Enoh crossed after a combination with Suarez and Emanuelson headed the ball past goalkeeper Ten Rouwelaar. Suarez was on the goal line to give the ball the last nudge: 0-3.
For Van Basten the match against NAC was a good start for the final stage of the league. ,,After the match against Marseille, we wanted to do well again. We succeeded in that and that gives us confidence for the upcoming weeks. If we play like this in the final six matches, we should be able to qualify for the Champions League.”
Ajax are third in the league table, three points behind FC Twente. Leaders AZ have twelve more points. The second place is needed to play in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League.