Carpe Diem means seize the day and that is what coach Ronald Koeman told his players before and after the 4-0 victory against ADO Den Haag. Rafael van der Vaart was supposed to replace injured strikers Ibrahimovic and Sonck up front, but Van der Vaart sustained an injury himself the day before the match. Koeman then decided to play 17-year old Ryan Babel, who made his debut for Ajax 1. ,,Just play like you always did in the juniors'', Koeman told his new striker.
Koeman, faced with no less than eleven injuries in the squad, did not want to change his tactical plan and put in Ryan Babel, who turned seventeen a month ago, as his team's striker. ,,He did a fine job'', the coach said afterwards. ,,He played well within the Ajax system and made a good debut.'' Babel's first appearance was made easier by the fact that Ajax scored after only five minutes. A free kick by Wesley Sneijder was missed by many players in the ADO box, but not by Nigel de Jong who managed to get his foot against the ball for the last touch: 1-0.
Soon after left winger Victor Sikora combined with Sneijder to get the ball back and all alone before the goalkeeper Sikora made no mistake: 2-0.
Sneijder then scored himself and finished off ADO Den Haag before halftime. Babel hesitated when he received the ball in the box, but Sneijder rushed in and shot it past goalkeeper De Vries: 3-0.
After halftime Ajax got even younger, when Tom de Mul, also 17 years old, replaced Sneijder who had back problems. Daniel de Ridder (19) moved to midfield and De Mul went to the right wing. Nicolae Mitea, 18 years of age, came on for Sikora and scored the only goal of the second half after a long rush and a powerful shot.
Tomás Galásek was taken of eight minutes before the end and he was replaced by Yakubu.
Sneijder and Galásek were substituted as a precaution. Next week PSV come to the ArenA. But Koeman also wanted his team to enjoy the match against ADO. ,,The young guys have done very well and they are allowed to enjoy this day. From tomorrow we'll start working toward the match against PSV.''