Ajax work on goal difference

Ajax work on goal difference

Ajax won the away match at De Graafschap by a wide margin: 0-6. A great win, especially with the goal difference in mind. ,,The guys definitely deserve a compliment”, coach Marco van Basten said.

Dario Cvitanich scores with a header.
Dario Cvitanich scores with a header.


Last season Ajax lost ten points in five matches in the month of December. A year later, the holiday month is developing much differently. In the three December matches so far, Marco van Basten's team has a perfect score. And by defeating De Graafschap by 6-0, the team also worked on the goal difference. ,,We stressed that at halftime”, said the coach. Ajax were leading 2-0 after 45 minutes and the home side were reduced to ten after a red card for Joost Volmer. ,,In the league table, the goal difference is very important.” With 38 goals Ajax are now the most productive team in the league. Leaders AZ do still have a better goal difference, but the difference is only four goal. Two weeks ago it was ten.
Ajax played in a high pace from the beginning. Dario Cvitanich had a big chance in the first minute, but missed. After ten minutes the Argentinian striker did score. He headed in the ball from a corner by Miralem Sulejmani. Two minutes later Sulejmani himself scored from up close from a cross by Eyong Enoh, who like Gabri returned to the starting lineup on Sunday. ,,We began very well", Van Basten said.
But De Graafschap also were dangerous in the beginning. Geert den Ouden kept the Ajax defence busy. Inthe second minute, Kenneth Vermeer had to save on a shot by the striker of the home side and in the 20th minute Vermeer also denied Den Ouden a goal.
When Joost Volmer was sent off in the 35th minute after elbowing Cvitanich in the face, all hope of a good result for De Graafschap disappeared. The remaining ten players did not concede any more goals in the first half, but were completely outplayed in the second half. ,,After the red card we were finished”, De Graafschap's coach Henk van Stee said. Van Basten saw his team taking the foot off the gas in the latter stages of the first half. ,,But in the second half we did very well. I am pleased with this win and have to give the guys a compliment.”
Ajax began the second half without Gregory van der Wiel. The defender was not feeling well and Bruno Silva replaced him. ,,Gregory also was not really into the game”, Van Basten said. ,,So there were two reasons to take him off.” In the 53rd minute, Ajax made it 0-3. Luis Suarez was brought down by Purrel Fränkel and referee Wegereef awarded a penalty, that was converted by Suarez himself. Suarez scored again in the 62nd minute. He struck from a cross by Silva. Urby Emanuelson made it 0-5 with a volley and Cvitanich, who played a strong match, headed in the ball again to make it 0-6. ,,It was a match in which a lot happened”, Thomas Vermaelen said. ,,It feels good to win so big and to keep a clean sheet.”